Cayetano to CPP-NDF: Together let's not waste best chance of peace, real change
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano appealed to the CPP-NDF leadership to join in the pursuit of a “peaceful revolution” and stand up against the war on drugs for the sake of the Filipino people.
“The Duterte administration is your best chance for meaningful change, reform, and peaceful revolution. The CPP-NDF group should understand and give more since the administration has met them more than halfway already,” Cayetano explained.
The Senator cited the administration's efforts to institute reforms to address the problems of inequality and poverty in the country, opening up cabinet positions and all lines of communication and dialogue with the left.
Cayetano remains hopeful that the peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels will resume even as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the cancellation of their talks.
“The government’s peace talks with the communists or the left collapsed. But we are all hoping it is not permanent,” Cayetano said in a press briefing with the Philippine-American press in New York City on Thursday (PH time).
The President earlier announced the suspension of the peace negotiations, stressing that many soldiers had died despite the unilateral ceasefire between the government and the communist group.
Cayetano said he understands the need for the President to take a hard stand on the issue, but added that he is still hoping that the two sides will return to the table to negotiate peacefully.
"Quoting Former Israeli President Shimon Peres, in peace negotiations, if you give too much, you lose your base. If you give too little, you lose the other side. Thus, there has to be pressure from all of us Filipinos to get these two sides to give more and accept less,” he said.
The senator clarified that no other administration had dealt with the issue more thoroughly, sincerely, and considerately than the Duterte Administration has.
“From the communists’ side, they think we are giving too little. But on the side of the government, we feel we have already given them so much. But no other President has given this much this soon,” he said.
In fact, Cayetano noted, members of leftist groups who chose to voice out their concerns through peaceful means have always been welcomed in government. Known members of the leftist group had been appointed in some cabinet positions under the Duterte government.
“Those who have chosen a parliamentary rather than an armed struggle are always welcome and are part of a healthy dialogue with the government,” Cayetano stressed.