ESCALANTE CITY – Robin Padilla admits he is “but an action star, sa pelikula lang ang bakbakan (action is only in the movies),” but ask him about the conflict in Negros island and he has a thing or two to say.
One, to the former “Bad Boy” of Philippine cinema, the land problem must be resolved, especially in Negros where the disparity in ownership has led to a simmering armed insurgency
Two, he told DNX, peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, must be regionalized.
That is it must be done according to geographical location, culture, language or tradition, Padilla explained.
The actor, who converted to Islam while serving his prison term, offered to negotiate peace with Moro separatists in 1999 during the term of then President Joseph Estrada.
Asked about the need to address the land ownership problem in Negros, where only a few families own vast tracts of land, Padilla said he agrees with those who think that it is the root cause of unrest.
“It should be resolved,” he said but did not elaborate how it can be done but added “we should always talk about the root.”
Talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines, which boasts of leading the longest-running insurgency in Asia, have been going on intermittently since 1986 when Corazon Aquino became president after the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was ousted in a civilian-backed military uprising.
It has hit snags over more than 30 years and six presidents that led to suspensions of talks first hosted by The Netherlands.
The CPP and its military arm, the New People’s Army, is represented by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.