The peace program of the reactionary government with different revolutionary armed groups in this country remains to be in limbo of darkness. Adding more salt to injury, Sec. Ging Deles was involved in national controversies like her moved to subjugate (put under her control) the indigenous people’s organizations (IPs) in spite of their autonomy as provided by law and lately, her arrogance against our Muslim countrymen at the senate budget hearing. Nothing has improved in the peace program of the government! It only further contributed more to the long overdue-undelivered commitment of the government to satisfy the confidence-building aspect as the first requisite to proceed to the more substantial parts of the spirit and intent of what has been agreed upon between revolutionary groups and the current reactionary administration. Peace accords are grossly and deliberately violated by the government side. Not one of any peace adviser of the government wants to comply first the most basic requisite and most important aspect which is the confidence-building aspect. All of the past and the present presidential advisers for Peace process wants to jump to disposition of arms (surrender) and the commitment of the government to explore lasting cooperation with the revolutionary parties to address the root causes of armed conflict are mere rhetorical statement and nowhere to be found.
News echoed like thunder that Sec. Deles has usurped peace agreements and processes by dismantling long time established structures and mechanism without the benefit of a mutual consensus and a joint comprehensive assessment between the government panels and the armed revolutionary groups. Ging Deles has put everything under her own control and disposal thus contributing more harm than good. Bilateral processes, previous and standing joint agreements are ignored and trampled down.
This is not about lack of resources and power because the government has almost unlimited resources and power and in fact, the Pnoy administration has increased its 2011 proposed budget for Peace Process amounting to P235 million but the irony (and contradictory) is the huge increase in the budget for war against revolutionary armed groups (negotiate for peace while waging total war against revolutionaries). This double-aged (and double talk) scheme of any bourgeois government can and will never bring about lasting peace and social justice in any country. Genuine lasting peace and progress will never be realized under a fascist-capitalist run-state and it is always expected that absence of sincerity and capacity to pursue a genuine and principled peace process its end results.
The government’s peace hypocrisy is further unmasked by its understanding of peace process as mere absence of gunfire, capitulation of one’s principles, conscience, and convictions and peace process as an opportunity for the government to outmaneuver and dismantle the political-military structures of its class enemy.
No peace processes since time immemorial in the Philippines has ever succeeded neither it has resolved the root causes of armed conflict! To cite concrete examples: no case of political prisoners and political offenders has been dropped by virtue of any peace agreement and peace negotiation. In fact, the recent released of 8 political prisoners under GMA administration cannot be attributed to any peace accord and effort for they have served their verdict to the maximum before GMA issued her conditional pardon. The government so-called show case development projects in peace areas are just mere piece-meals (hand-to-mouth and hungry-again-tomorrow) and unfortunately, many of which are now nowhere to be found (bankrupt) due to the unstoppable increases of production costs, basic commodities, and daily human necessities and more importantly, the exploitative capitalist system of market. This development projects are used to entice rebel groups to go back to civilian life instead of helping them and their communities eradicate poverty. The government from the past to the current cannot prove any peace area in the Philippines where their “development projects” has really reduce poverty. Almost majority of its projects died naturally for lack of big capital, lack of subsidy, and lack of sustainability.
No laws on earth can abolish inequality and exploitation so long as production for market continues and so long as there is the rule of money and the power of capital. The overthrow of the power of the landlord and the bureaucrats will not abolished exploitation. Complete abolition of private landownership too will not do away either the rule of capital or with the poverty of the masses. Even on land belonging to the whole nation, only those with capital of their own, only those who have the implements, live stock, machines, stocks of seed, money in general, etc., will be able to farm independently. As for those who have nothing but their hands to work with, they will inevitably remain slaves of capital even in a democratic republic, even when the land belonging to the whole nation. The idea that “socialization” of land can be effected without socialization of capital, the idea that equalized land tenure is possible while capital and commodity economy exist, is a big delusion.
Exploitation can be completely abolished only when all the land, factories and tools are transferred to the working class, and when large-scale socialized and planned production is organized (socialism). The fight for socialism is a fight against the rule of capital.
The ultimate peace program of the reactionary government is always anchored on disposition of arms and forces and in the guise of a better road and promises to improve their socio-economic conditions but the government cannot prove that those who benefited from their Balik-Loob Program their lives are better as compared with ordinary toiling masses. In general, 70% of the livelihood projects under Balik-Loob Program of the government are bankrupt and the remaining 30% is in its way to ruin. The government has still unsettled financial obligations to former rebels like the MNLF, LCM/NPA, Military Rebels, MILF, Misuari Breakaway Group amounting to P125, 888,080.00 in 1994-20005.
Now and then, the reactionary government have tried to entice the revolutionary armed groups with their surrender framework like the Social Integration Program (SIP), the Peace Development Community (PDC), the PAMANA and among others but as I said earlier, these schemes will not and cannot address the root causes of armed conflict because at first, the government peace program is designed not to really address the real problem. Nowhere in Philippine history that the root causes of armed conflict (rebellion) were addressed by the reactionary government. The reactionary government is merely using the SIP, DDR, PDC, and PAMANA “development frameworks” as tools to win the hearts and minds of its perceived enemies and that is why time and again, people’s uprising will always be there as mushrooms.
The good Secretary is day dreaming if not an another display of arrogance when she said: “Finally, we are pursuing the closure of peace tracks with the Moro National Liberation Front, the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army, and the RPM-P/ RPA/ ABB, with all of whom the government has already signed peace agreements – that is, ten years ago for the RPM-P/ RPA/ABB, 14 years ago for the MNLF, and 24 years past for the CPLA. We are determined to find an honourable, bilateral process that will bring to a positive conclusion all signed peace agreements within the term of the PNoy administration, navigating paths rendered difficult because of the long gap between the signing and the implementation of agreements, made even more difficult because of the seemingly irreconcilable splits among the concerned groups. I have said before that I did not return to government service in my senior years to play with or manipulate the process. I am here to push straightforward processes and results-oriented closure on all peace tracks.”
How can there be a “closure” of signed peace agreement when the government side has and is grossly violating the very basic provision of their peace accord which is the confidence-building aspect? Was there a stopped in the arrest and criminalization of members of contracting parties to the peace agreement? Were the cases filed in court have been withdrawn or dropped to effect their release from detention? Were there policy reforms in governance that has been legislated and approved that will address the root causes of armed conflict? This so-called result oriented that Sec. Deles is telling us all means nothing but “surrender framework” without fulfilling the government’s commitment to satisfy first the confidence-building aspects and ultimately onward addressing the root causes of armed conflict. Mark my word and prove me wrong, the good Secretary will end her term in peace process with no substantial delivery in peace process just like what she did during GMA administration.
How can there be an honorable political settlement when parties to the peace agreement are being pushed to surrender their principles and political cause without completely satisfying the entire provisions of their peace agreement? Where is bilateral process when the Sec. Deles alone decides for all the contracting parties?
Everyone wants genuine and lasting peace but can there be peace in the midst of hunger, oppression and exploitation? Peace is not just the absence of gunfire. In fact, the later is just one of its end results. Progress is not the enrichment of one class (the rich) at the expense of other class (the poor).