Ernesto Angeles Alcanzare, organizer of Yes for Peace, said they are one with Galvez in condemning the brazen act of violence that caused the death of two and wounded three members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army–Alex Boncayao Brigade–Tabara Padua Group.
“The recent attack proves their hypocrisy and duplicity, ala-‘Jeckyll and Hyde’ character. They shout-out one thing and yet do everything to make sure that their demands can never be catered to by government even if it is sincere in doing so,” Alcanzare said.
“The People’s Agenda for National and Progressive Change that they crafted and published through their exclusive National People’s Summit at the University of the Philippines on June 29, 2016, declared a 15-Point Agenda for Change, and among these, is their call to reduce military expenditures (by government) and channel savings to economic development and social services,” he added.
For his part, lawyer Domingo B. Aldion, president of the Department of Education National Employees’ Union and YFP-BB supporter, denounced the “terrorist attack” and said a reasonable part of the money spent by government in the 50-year conflict could have been “better” used in increasing the salaries and benefits of public school teachers and non-teaching personnel.
“They (communists) claim that they want peace but their actions are not reflective of what they shout in the streets. Billions of pesos have already been wasted in the local communist armed conflict. Billions of pesos that should have been allocated for the increase of teachers’ salaries, wages and benefits, as well as non-teaching personnel of DepEd and other government agencies will continue to be wasted if they do not put an end to what they are now doing to keep them from being irrelevant and no longer needed to pursue the interests of the Filipino people.”
Brasette Espiritu, a former regional officer of Alpha Phi Omega and a peace advocate questioned the flagrant act and said it was also the CPP-NPA’s way of taunting government security forces in order to intensify offensive military operations.
“Do the NPAs and their legal front organizations really believe that the government can reduce military expenditures and channel savings to economic development and social services if the communists themselves will not STOP killing people, including former comrades, to instill fear among the people?” he said.
Meanwhile, Don Nicart, a former student activist who romanticized the national democratic movement in the Philippines during his youth said, “They (rebels) are simply repeating what they did to Conrado Balweg and leaders of the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) who entered into an agreement with the government. They feared that Balweg’s decision would create a bandwagon and weaken their so-called armed revolution.”
Yes for Peace–Bayanihan ng Bayan is a non-government initiated peace education, advocacy and mobilization movement born in the University of the Philippines in 1988, and eventually supported by government institutions.
Among others, it seeks to assert the Filipino people’s human right to peace and the full play of democracy; the conduct of open, transparent and inclusive peace talks, at the national or local levels or both, here in the Philippines; and the pro-active and collective participation of the people in the identification, planning and effective and efficient implementation of development projects and livelihood programs.
The Sectoral Unification, Capability Building, Empowerment and Mobilization Cluster of the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) recommended the adoption, refinement, and the facilitation of the implementation of Yes For Peace as a whole-of-nation undertaking. The cluster recommendation was incorporated into the national plan submitted to and approved by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on April 15, 2019.
Earlier, Duterte wrote in a message to YFP-BB, “I recognize this noble undertaking of Yes for Peace–Bayanihan ng Bayan because it promotes a newfound culture of harmony and cooperation among our communities and across our regions. I am also glad that many government agencies and partners are participating in this project… “Together, let us show our solidarity in effecting real and lasting change in our society.”
The President subsequently issued Executive Order No. 70, series of 2018, which institutionalized the "whole-of-nation approach" as a government policy for the attainment of inclusive and sustainable peace.
Drawing from EO No. 70, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., Vice-Chairman of the NTF-ELCAC said, “the government shall heretofore prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict-affected areas and vulnerable communities, facilitate societal inclusivity, and ensure active participation of all sectors of society in pursuit of the country’s peace agenda.” (PIA InfoComm)