SENATOR Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson on Wednesday reiterated his support for localized peace talks stressing that while the government should not give up on peace efforts with insurgents, it would be better to pursue localized talks with them.
“Giving up on peace should not be an option. But given the failures of past administrations who engaged in centralized peace negotiations, I fully support the present efforts of localizing it,” he said.
He noted the situation of rebels varies in different areas, and the local government units (LGUs) are thus in a better position to determine and address their needs.
What is needed from the national government would be clear guidelines and parameters for the talks, along with proper assistance and supervision, he added.
“For one, not all LGUs have the same level of insurgency problems in their communities. That makes it more practical and efficient to pursue it at the local level with the national government just providing the guidance and support,” Lacson said.
Also, Lacson noted during Tuesday’s Senate hearing that Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison cannot claim control over the New People’s Army.
“Either that, or there is basis in the claim of the security sector that bad faith through deception has always been part of the CPP/NPA/NDF Central Committee’s agenda in calling for bilateral ceasefires with the government,” he said.
“That explains why even if Sison agreed to a ceasefire, the NPAs continue their attacks,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lacson maintained the hearings he chaired on red-tagging have been fair, with all sides given their chance to air their concerns — contrary to the Makabayan bloc’s accusations that the hearings became a venue for witch-hunting. He added the inputs gathered during the three hearings will lead to legislation that seeks to address the issue.
“Just because they cannot have it themselves, the Makabayan bloc now accuses the Senate of being a ‘venue for witch hunting’ in our red-tagging inquiry. Looking for a scapegoat is normal for people who feel they were a bunch of losers,” he said on his Twitter account.