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PANELO: joma burying self in dustbin of history

panelo-salvador

‘There is nothing dishonorable in accepting defeat”

BY SILVER C. BALANZA

For shooting down President Rodrigo Duterte’s overtures to reopen peace talks with communist rebels, exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison is reducing himself into a mere “footnote” in the “dustbin of history,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

“To miss this golden opportunity will only reduce him to a historical footnote and throw him into the dustbin of history. That will be tragic,” said Panelo on Sunday, February 10.

In a report in the Philippine News Agency (PNA),  Panelo said it is now time for Sison to extend his hands for peace and rejoin society. Sison has been living in exile in The Netherlands. 

Panelo dished out his indictment on the future of the leader of the country’s 50-year old communist insurgency as Sison slammed the offer of Duterte to reopen peace talks with the communists.

Sison described the offer as an  “insult to the revolutionary movement.”

Last year, Duterte cancelled the talks in the midst of ongoing peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the communist movement in the country, as its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA) continued its attacks against government forces and civilians.

“Instead of welcoming the President’s softening of his hard line stance on no peace talks with the local communists unless it puts a stop to their collection of revolutionary taxes which is a euphemism for extortion, he considers it as an insult to them,” Panelo said in a statement.

“Sison must step down from his ivory tower and extend his hands for peace, for his own sake, for his followers, for the Filipino people, for his country he loves so well,” he added.

Panelo said Sison should also contribute his intellect and expertise in peaceful dialogues for the betterment and progress of all Filipinos.

“It is time to rejoin society. There is nothing dishonorable in accepting defeat. There is another path for change other than armed struggle. Filipinos cannot continue killing Filipinos,” Panelo said.

He noted that it would be “tragic” and “such a waste” for Sison to reject the President’s willingness to resume peace negotiations for disagreeing with the precondition to stop the collection of revolutionary taxes.

“To miss this golden opportunity will only reduce him to a historical footnote and thrown him into the dustbin of history. That will be tragic and such a waste,” he added.

Panelo mocked Sison’s reason for refusing to stop the collection of revolutionary taxes saying he must be “running berserk with his imagination.”

“He (Sison) claims that they cannot stop the extortion activities because its stoppage will deprive the ‘people’s government of financial resources for administration and social programs.’ Oh… they have a government?” Panelo said.

“He has to wake up from his daydreaming lest he gets a nightmare that will cut short his bourgeoisie lifestyle in The Netherlands,” he added.

Panelo, meanwhile, described Sison and a handful of his followers as “victims of their own revolution” for still hoping to overthrow the existing political order but failing to do so for over 50 years.

In 2017, Duterte terminated peace talks with communist rebels following continued attacks against government troops.

The United States and European Union have declared the CPP-NPA as a terror group. (With PNA report)

DAVAO CITY IMAGE AFFECTED BY MARTIAL LAW —Sara Duterte-Carpio

TEMPORARY SETBACK

BY JOANNA C. BALANZA

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio admits the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao by her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, has affected the city’s image as an investment  and tourism destination.

She is however unfazed, saying that more energy is needed to convince investors and tourists that Davao City is still safe.
“We have to hurdle the challenge of explaining to investors and tourists that despite martial law, Davao City is still safe,” the mayor said in a media interview on Friday, July 7.
Earlier, the mayor said the city’s business and tourism climate suffered jitters as soon as President Duterte declared Martial Law on May 23.

SARA AND JOANNA
Mayor Inday Sara with Durian Post business reporter Joanna Balanza

But Duterte-Carpio said government tourism players assured her the setback was only temporary with investors and tourism confidence restored in a matter of weeks or months.

Duterte-Carpio said the assurance of stable peace and order was expected to maintain the city’s business-friendly climate and  safe tourist destination.
“It is safe to put your money here. It is safe to visit here,” said Duterte-Carpio, abounding off her own sales pitch to investors and tourists.

DPWH to pour P1B in Davao City projects

By Silver C. Balanza

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Davao Region is pouring more than P1  billion in 4 key projects in Davao City aimed to lessen vehicular traffic woes, DPWH-Davao acting regional public information officer Dean Ortiz.

Ortiz identified the projects as: P554 million for the expansion of the Carlos P. Garcia Highway (South Diversion Road); the P170-million widening of the Maa Bridge; the P120-million widening of the Pangi Bridge, and the P264-million construction of road extension connecting and passing through Puan, Ulas, Bangkal, and Talomo.
Ortiz said the projects would expand perennial bottlenecks Maa Bridge and Pangi Bridge in South Diversion Road into four-lane bridges, while the Diversion Road would be widened into a six-lane highway.
Ortiz also said in the pipe line is a 2.5km mini-diversion roadway at the southern tip of Diversion Road to help de-clog Ulas, which is at the crossroad of heavy traffic volume coming from Central and Northern Mindanao.