SENATOR Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said the government should totally discard the idea of peace talks as a solution to the communist insurgency problem since the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) is just “pulling the government’s leg.”
“Niloloko lang tayo nitong mga tao na ito. Ilang taon na tayong nakikipag-usap, walang nangyayari dahil tayo lang ang sinsero, sila hindi sinsero…‘Yan ang nangyayari. Kaya’t ‘wag na ‘wag na tayong magpaloko. Ngayon pa na halos lumuluhod na ‘yung mga CPP-NPA ngayon dahil sa nangyayari diyan sa (NTF-) ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict)?” Dela Rosa said.
The former top cop expressed his “rejection” of the peace talks as a way to solve the decades-long communist insurgency problem during the hearing on Tuesday of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation, joint with the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, which he leads, as well as the Committee on Finance, to discuss Senate Bill No. 200, or the ELCAC Act, which seeks to institutionalize the NTF-ELCAC by establishing the “National Council to End Local Communist Armed Conflict”, and other bills.
The NTF-ELCAC, created in December 2018 by Executive Order 70 of then President Rodrigo Duterte, the senator said, has “successfully” provided social services in the countryside through effective coordination of the task force member agencies.
“Anong ginagawa nila (CPP-NPA) kapag nagpi-peace talk tayo? Habang nagpi-peace talk tayo, they are there consolidating their people, regrouping, rearming themselves, at recruitment dahil libreng-libre silang pumasok sa mga barangay dahil wala, hindi sila hinuhuli dahil meron tayong peace talk. So, libreng-libre sila. Alam mo enough of this for me,” he told government security officials who attended the hearing.
The Mindanaoan senator said the communist party was only “fooling” the people by pretending to be sincere in negotiating peace with the government.
“Baka sinasabi lang nila ‘yan, pinapalabas lang nila ‘yan na wala silang control over their military components pero ang totoo niyan, they are very good in deception. Sabi ng party, ‘O, let’s talk. let’s talk.’ Pero (kapag) iba ‘yung kaharap niya, ‘yung GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines), iba ‘yung instructions niya sa armed component niya,” he said.
“Let’s finish the problem dahil ‘pag hindi natin ‘to seryosohin, as I’ve said, ako nag-retire ako sa serbisyo with all the scars in my body, with all the death that I have seen. Hintayin ko pa ‘yung anak ko ngayon na kaga-graduate lang sa academy will experience the same problem that I have faced when I was young, when I was lieutenant hanggang nag-retire ako?… Wala tayong maibigay na magandang kinabukasan sa mga bata na ito kapag hindi natin tapusin itong problema na ito,” Dela Rosa said.
He added, “Nasa dulo na tayo, dulo na tayo ng labanan. Patapos na ito. ‘Pag matapos natin ito, Philippines will become a very beautiful country. ‘Pag mawala ang problema sa insurgency, I tell you, napakaganda ng Pilipinas.”