Wishful thinking

President Rodrigo Duterte and members of the National Democratic Front Peace Panel
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After saying that he still “has to talk to the NPA (New People’s Army),” by which statement he meant that the Government of the Philippines will have to resume peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he’s not yet ready to do so. His latest statements on the fate of the stalled peace talks came after the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) declaration that, having rid Marawi City of the Maute group and recruited and trained more troops, it will now turn its attention to the NPA and “crush” it by the end of 2018.

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Truth interred

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The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.

SHAKESPEARE wasn’t referring to the consequences of either good or evil, but to evil’s being remembered more than the good. That might have been true in his time, which was 400 years ago. Today the opposite’s more the case, and that’s true of even the most evil men (and women), who, once safely in the ground, are often remembered for their good deeds and/or qualities more than for the bad.

While the most that’s been said about Adolf Hitler is that he restored German pride (at least for some 12 years) and loved dogs, the one man demonstrators used to compare to the Fuhrer has been a bit more fortunate. Among other accolades, the late Ferdinand Marcos, insist some Filipinos, also built roads and diversified the country’s energy resources.

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Enemies of the state

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AT SOME point during her interminable occupancy of Malacanang, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said something to the effect that the police and military are charged with preserving “our way of life.”

I hesitate to call it an unguarded moment, Mrs. Arroyo not being known for lowering her guard at any time, except when she’s playing golf with the state capitalists of China. Let’s call it an unintended confession of what the country’s ruling dynasties and their instrumentalities are up to.

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Heart of darkness

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The “Palparan solution” to armed rebellion has never been a solution at all. As Philippine experience with the rebellions that have been part of the Philippine landscape before and after 1946 has amply demonstrated, it has always been part of the problem.

To the perennial unrest that’s the consequence of an unjust social order, all Philippine governments without exception have responded with the use of state violence. With predictable inevitability, that approach has included the arrest, torture, forced disappearance and killing not only of those who have taken up arms, but also of sympathizers, reformers, and protesters exercising their right to free expression.

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