By Mario Casayuran
Peace negotiations between local government units (LGUs) and Communist insurgents have better chances of success than those being held at the national level.
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and chairman of the Senate National Defense and Security Committee, stressed this as insurgents launched violent attacks against soldiers and policemen in various parts of Southern Luzon and Bicol region and in Iloilo, Visayas last Monday, the first day of the implementation of a holiday truce declared unilaterally by both the government and local Communist groups.
Lacson earlier noted that the New People’s Army, (NPA). the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), does not necessarily follow directives issued by the CPP leadership led by Jose Maria Sison, founder of the CPP.
He noted that not all LGUs have the same level of intensity as far as the insurgency was concerned.
“In fact, many LGUs do not even have insurgency concerns at all. Further, local officials have a better grip of the insurgency problems in their localities than national officials,’’ he said.
“I would say that as long as the parameters of the national government are clearly defined to guide the local officials in dealing with the localized peace talks, and as long as they are adequately supported logistically with some degree of authority to extend livelihood programs to possible rebel returnees, I believe they have a better chance of success than what we have been failing to accomplish for the past several decades,’’ he added.