President Rodrigo R. Duterte listens to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is at it again.

He did not let the opportunity pass to equate the revolutionary forces with bandits when he said “If we have peace talks with the CPP, why not the ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group)?”

Lorenzana made this remark immediately after his boss Rodrigo Duterte said he was open to talks with the ASG, which is notorious for its involvement in kidnapping for ransom and murdering hostages who fail to comply with the bandit group’s ransom demands.

At the same time, Lorenzana revealed his perverse concept of the peace negotiations as nothing but surrender talks. He made no mention of, or dismissed altogether, the need for thoroughgoing reforms to resolve the roots of armed conflict.

No wonder he could actually countenance holding talks with the ASG.

Lorenzana must now be eating crow because a day after his statement, a suspected suicide bomber from the ASG killed 10 people in Lamitan, Basilan.

Lorenzana can avoid humiliating himself in the future by abandoning the tack of peace negotiations as surrender talks. That way, he will not be coming up with such absurd statements, and the GRP-NDFP peace talks can be put back on track. ###