Surrender talks are not peace talks

October 23, 2018

Judging from his latest statements, Rodrigo Duterte is as adamant as ever in refusing to conduct genuine peace negotiations.

Believing in his security cluster’s deluded projection of defeating the revolutionary movement by mid-2019, he is pouring billions of pesos into military operations that kill not only suspected NPA fighters but mainly unarmed political activists and suspected sympathizers of the revolutionary movement. Aside from this purely militarist approach, the Duterte regime has been aggressively pushing a program to inveigle revolutionaries and their supporters into surrendering.

This, and “localized peace talks” form the main content of the Duterte regime’s so-called other approaches to “peace.”

The Duterte regime has poured hundreds of millions of pesos into its Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) consisting of financial packages for surrenderers.

Duterte talks about providing financial assistance, housing and livelihood training to individual surrenderers. Nowhere in his or his militarist subalterns’ statements will you find anything that pertains to addressing the socio-economic roots of the armed conflict.

Instead, the Duterte regime has decided to invest heavily in programs like ECLIP that are nothing but big psywar gimmicks designed to achieve through propaganda what the militarists will never be able to achieve in reality–the demise of the revolutionary movement.

Duterte’s generals are, of course, all for ECLIP because much of the financial package ends up in their pockets and not with the “surrenderers” who are often ex-NPA guerrillas who had long returned to civilian life, or ordinary civilians rounded up and coerced into joining bogus surrender ceremonies.

The cause of peace will be better served if Duterte revokes Proclamation 360, resumes peace talks with the NDFP and stops his security cluster from sabotaging honest to goodness efforts to arrive at a negotiated solution to the raging civil war.###