- Retired generals said they are open to having Communists in government
- However, this should be done only after a “final peace deal” they say
- Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte offered four Cabinet posts to the CPP
Retired generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) welcome the appointment of self-proclaimed Communists to join the administration of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte, but insist that a “final peace deal” should be signed first before they can formally take part in the government.
Former AFP chief of staff and Senator Rodolfo Biazon said he and his colleagues in the military have already discussed about the matter.
“Ang sabi nila, dapat magkaroon muna ng final peace agreement. I talked to senior officers at ang sabi nila ganoon din. Kailangan siguro ito ay maging bunga ng peace agreement. [They said we should have a final peace agreement first. I talked to senior officers and they said the same thing. Perhaps, it should be the result of a peace agreement],” Biazon explained to GMA News.
Incoming president Duterte had earlier offered the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and to its political arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF), the chance to lead four executive departments and be part of his Cabinet.
This includes the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD).
However, Biazon pointed out that such offer to be appointed to the Cabinet could be made as part of a concession.
“Kung ito ay concession, is this an offer to the CPP-NPA na kung magkakaroon tayo ng kapayapaan as a result of a final agreement, ito ang posisyong ibibigay. O ito kaya ay ibibigay namin sa inyo ito then let us see kung mapapatahimik natin ang bayan. [If this is a concession, is this an offer to the CPP-NPA wherein if we are going to have peace as a result of a final agreement, this is the position to be given. Or is this something we will be giving you then let us see if we can bring peace to our nation],” he explained.
Biazon also added that he had been told earlier by NDF spokesperson Fidel Agcaoili about the existence of an initial concession agreement from 2014; specific terms of which were not discussed, although Biazon insists it should be made public because it is a legal document.
The former AFP chief of staff said, however, that the NDF spokesperson revealed that the CPP shall continue with the peace talks only if two conditions are met: the release of all political prisoners, and no disarmament prior to a final peace agreement.