End of insurgency can only be done through political settlement, AFP official says

June 20, 2010 11:02 pm 

MANILA, June 20 — While feeling elated with the consistent decline of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) strength and influence nationwide, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is convinced that it is through political settlement that the insurgency problem can ultimately be solved.

Brig. Gen Francisco N. Cruz Jr., commander of the AFP Civil Relations Service, is positive that political settlement through a peace process is the long-term solution to the CPP-NPA-NDF or CNN insurgency.

In his published monograph entitled, "The Quick War Strategy," Cruz notes, “The current conditions are ripe for a peace process. We must seek a win-win, not a win-lose solution to a politically mature, persistent insurgency. A peace agreement gives a saving grace or a graceful exit to rebels who see themselves as freedom fighters.”

Given the consistent decline of the CNN strength and influence evidenced by massive surrenders and arrests of its members, Cruz said the group could choose to pursue criminality, or terrorism, or they could individually exit from the movement, but they could also transition towards a legitimate political process.

“CNN could view non-violent political means as more effective to achieve its goals. It can choose to participate in politics following a peace settlement with the government, inasmuch as structural conditions have changed. The regime has changed from authoritarianism to democracy since 1986,” Cruz explained.

The AFP adheres to the primacy of the peace process embodied in President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Command Guidance 2009-01-05-2200 which states:

“The Peace Process continues to be the centerpiece in the government’s overall peace and order and security program. The government wants peace. The way to achieve it is across the negotiating table, not at the end of the gun. The targeted use of the gun is intended to induce all parties to be as committed as the government to restarting the peace process and resume negotiations as soon as possible.”

Previous peace negotiations between the government and the CNN have been met with a full and genuine participation by the Armed Forces.

Locally, the military initiates or attends in peace dialogues and peace education to help sensitize and mobilize the general population to support peace and good governance initiatives, as well as to encourage harmonious co-existence, nurture cooperation and build a constituency for peace.

Cruz said he strongly believes that “The CNN must have a strong incentive to transition to legitimate political process, and must recognize it stands to lose from continuing a violent struggle. The end-state of counter-insurgency must be to secure the people, starve the insurgents and to put sufficient pressure on the ground for them to come to the negotiating table and lay down their arms.” (PNA) scs/VR


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