By: Elena Grace Flores
Senators Leila de Lima and Miguel Zubiri agreed that Duterte’s impulsive ceasefire declaration has put the long time problem of insurgencies back to square one – because of bruised ego. It was not clear however if they are referring to the President’s ego thinking that he was able to hold the communist party in the neck just by lobbying them – telling in front of the media that they are not criminals and the victims of hatred instead.
Zubiri retained his composure by suggesting that when the tension eases down, bilateral peace talks must resume and should go back to the negotiating table. On the other hand, Senator Trillanes this time sided with Duterte – that what he did was right and that the president must not let the rebels go without holding them responsible with the terrorist act that killed a government soldier right after the SONA. The president must go after them for that; he said.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said the President “had little choices left after the attacks,” but hopeful that confidence-building measures will continue. Sen. Joel Villanueva thought that the President “has to show he is serious on the peace offering,” but not sure if the NDFP’s is willing to negotiate. Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito stressed that “trust has been broken” because their deadly NPA attack. Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is extending hand of peace and friendship, but dismayed to get nothing in return.” Sen. Panfilo Lacson observed that they are blaming the AFP for the ambush. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure that the ceasefire announcement is just to add some points in the not so impressive SONA speech of the president.