Duterte Kills Peace Talks, Blames Revolutionaries for Martial Law

By Professor Jose Maria Sison | Published in TeleSUR » 21 July 2017

“After 7000 to 12,000 extrajudicial killings of poor drug addicts and low level pushers, he has failed to solve the problem of illegal drugs”
— Professor Jose Maria Sison.

By his own public declarations and expressions of admiration for the fascist dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte has long been obsessed with his scheme to establish his own iron-fisted rule through martial law and extrajudicial killings by way of asserting “strong man” leadership and intimidating the opposition and the people under the pretext of solving not only the problem of illegal drugs but also far graver social, economic and political problems of the US-dominated ruling system of big compradors and landlords. At last, he has declared the end of peace negotiations with the NDFP. The revolutionary forces and people have no choice but to fight back and intensify the people’s war along the general line of people’s democratic revolution.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte inspects firearms together with Eduardo Ano, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, during his visit at the military camp in Marawi city, southern Philippines July 20, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Duterte is not daunted by failures in his use of brute force. After 7000 to 12,000 extrajudicial killings of poor drug addicts and low level pushers, he has failed to solve the problem of illegal drugs within the first three to six months of being in office. He has also used up six months of extending his bloody campaign and has aroused suspicions that he has acted against certain drug lords only to favor those who keep the business thriving. He has directed the bombing of Marawi and victimized the people far more than the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups could. But he wants to prolong the Mindanao-wide martial law proclamation up to the end of 2017. And he calculates that he can make martial rule nationwide by continuing to blame and target the revolutionary movement of the people as “terrorists”.

After pretending for a while to seek a negotiated peace between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP, representing the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and sixteen other revolutionary organizations), he is flagrantly hell-bent on making the armed revolutionary movement the scapegoat and pretext for the proclamation of martial law on the scale of the island of Mindanao and eventually nationwide. Since the time he assumed the presidency, Duterte has launched offensives against the New People’s Army (NPA) and has always threatened to scuttle the peace negotiations whenever the NPA takes defensive or counter-offensive actions even in the absence of a ceasefire.

He has obscured the barbarities being committed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and paramilitary forces (including private security agencies and vigilante groups) that have been acting under his orders in the name of the extended Oplan Bayanihan, Oplan Kapayapaan and the all-out war policy signaled by Duterte’s termination of the peace negotiations on February 4 and spelled out by his defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana on February 7, 2017. The atrocities include aerial bombings and artillery fire, abductions, torture, destruction of lives and property, occupation of community buildings and forced evacuations and evictions. These are documented by human rights organizations and presented to the Joint Monitoring Committee of the GRP and NDFP.

Duterte has completely ignored the proposals of the NDFP to have an alliance for realizing national independence, democratic rights, economic development through national industrialization and genuine land reform, social justice, a patriotic and scientific culture and independent foreign policy and to accelerate the peace negotiations on the substantive issues on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms, to make a bilateral ceasefire agreement after approval of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and to co-found the Federal Republic of the Philippines on patriotic and democratic grounds defined by a the Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (CASER).

That Duterte has been insincere and not really been interested in the progress and ultimate success of the peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP is well proven by false promises that he has never had the intention of fulfilling. Even before he assumed his presidential office, he promised on May 16, 2016 that he would amnesty and release all political prisoners in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). But he released on bail only 19 political consultants of NDFP, which also falls short of complying with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

Despite the breach of promise, the NDFP continued to hope that all the political prisoners would be released in conjunction with the mutually agreed plan to accelerate the peace negotiations, to forge and approve the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and make an interim bilateral ceasefire agreement. To stimulate the peace negotiations, the NDFP agreed with the GRP to issue reciprocal unilateral ceasefire declarations that lasted more than five months, from August 28, 2016 to February 10, 2017.

But Duterte himself kept on saying publicly that he never had any intention of releasing all the political prisoners but wished to keep them as his trump card until the successful end of the peace negotiations. Worse, despite the unilateral ceasefire declarations which lasted for more than five months, the GRP unleashed armed offensives against the revolutionary movement under the name of Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan and then under that of Oplan Kapayapaan. Since February 4, Duterte has caused the declaration of the all-out war policy against the NPA and the people and has never withdrawn it before and after his Mindanao-wide martial law proclamation on May 23, 2017.

Every round of formal talks has been used by the GRP to cut down the hope for the release of the political prisoners in accordance with CARHRIHL and to put at the top of the agenda the GRP demand for bilateral ceasefire at the expense of negotiations on CASER, despite the repeated reminders of the NDFP to the GRP that substantive negotiations and agreements must come ahead of any protracted and indefinite kind of ceasefire. At one point, in back channel talks last March 11, the NDFP agreed with GRP to issue reciprocal and simultaneous unilateral ceasefire declarations. But the GRP backed out of agreement despite Duterte’s approval on March 11.

The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Sequence, Formation and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees have set forth the sequence of the items in the substantive agenda: respect for human rights and international humanitarian law (the subject of a comprehensive agreement approved by the GRP and NDFP principals since 1998), social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces. The aim of sequencing properly the items is to address the roots of the armed conflict and lay the basis of a just and lasting peace.

For sincerely adhering to the agreements with the GRP and for refusing to surrender and pacify the revolutionary movement of the people under the guise of a premature prolonged and indefinite bilateral ceasefire, the NDFP is now being demagogically accused by the Duterte government of insincerity in the peace negotiations, being relentlessly blamed for the continuing revolutionary armed conflict, being targeted by propaganda aimed at preparing the public mind for the proclamation of martial law nationwide and using the CPP, NPA and the NDFP as scapegoat.

Coldbloodedly, Duterte intends to rule the Philippines with a combination of martial rule, the use of the mass murder methods of Oplans Tokhang and Double Barrel and the bombing and shelling of entire communities as already seen in Marawi and in the territory of the people’s democratic government and the NPA in the course of the extended Oplan Bayanihan, Oplan Kapayapaan and the all out war policy issued last February 5 against the revolutionary movement.

Even without the license of martial law, the Duterte regime has become culpable for at least 10,000 extrajudicial killings, already outstripping in one year the 3500 victims of murder under the 14-year Marcos fascist regime presented in the US court system. With the license of martial law, we can expect a far bigger catastrophe of extrajudicial killings and other atrocities from the AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces.

The Duterte regime has thoroughly exposed itself as an instrument of US imperialism, a creature of a certain overreaching group of big compradors and landlords and a bloody accomplice of pro-US military and police officers. Thus, the revolutionary movement has started to refer to the Duterte regime as a puppet of US imperialism. The chief objective of Duterte is to destroy the revolutionary movement of the people through deception and brute force and not to build national unity and peace on the basis of social, economic, political and constitutional reforms.

He daydreams about establishing a fascist dictatorship far stronger than that of Marcos. He is oblivious of the fact that his so-called high popularity rating has been bought by excessive amounts of money and has nowhere to go but down in the face of failures and promises proven false. The revolutionary forces and the people can avail of the strategy and tactics of the broad united front and armed struggle in order to pursue the people’s democratic revolution with a socialist perspective.

4 NPA military actions launched within ten days

PRESS RELEASE | July 20, 2017 | Bisaya »

WITHIN 10 days, the New People’s Army Front 6, South Central Bukidnon Sub-Regional Command, North Central Mindanao Region (NPA-SCB-NCMR) has launched two tactical offensives against enemy forces and two punitive actions against criminal offenders.

On July 12, 2017, 3:40 a.m., an NPA platoon ambushed Benjamin “Nonong” Salusad, together with his CAFGU associates in Brgy. Dao, San Fernando, Bukidnon. Salusad is a regular member of the 8th IB of the 403rd Brigade, Philippine Army and is active in counter-revolutionary acts and in harassing Lumad communities in San Fernando. Together with his son, Alde “Butsoy” Salusad leading NIPAR (New Indigenous People’s Army for Reform), they are staunch protectors of destructive mining and plantation activities in Mt. Kiranggol and other parts of San Fernando, aside from the fact that the Salusads were the culprit in killing Datu Jimmy Liguyon and other Lumad leaders. But because of the brigade’s protection, they were not arrested given the warrants of arrest issued against them by the Malaybalay city court.

In the said ambush, Joas Licawan and Rolan Lumatay, both CAFGUs, were killed in action (KIA) while Nonong Salusad is in critical medical condition. In a media interview, Lt. Erwin Bugarin, spokesperson of 8th IB, had not claimed Nonong Salusad to be a regular member of the 8th Infantry Battalion as his way of projecting a “clean” image” of 8th IB whose reputation was long tarnished by its record of human rights violations.

Once the AFP had exhausted from their Lumad assets their objective of attacking the revolutionary movement, the usual modus of the AFP is to get their hands clean and disown these assets in public.

Also on July 14, 2017 at 2:15 AM, two squads of the NPA harassed a platoon of the 8th IB, conducting psywar and intelligence operations, in Purok 7, Mahayag, Quezon, Bukidnon. The exchange of fire took only twenty-seven minutes, but the AFP troops continued firing in panic until 2:45 a.m. Two of the 8th IB troopers were confirmed killed in action (KIA) while their wounded was undetermined. On the side of the NPA, one member was martyred and his M-16 issue was seized by the enemy.

Prior to these, on July 5, 2017, an NPA team meted out punishment on Noel “Toto” Madrial, 45, a drug dealer and rapist, in Brgy. Mahayag, Quezon, Bukidnon. Madrial was previously dis-armed with a .40 caliber pistol and was expelled from the community due to cases of harassment, indiscriminate firing and selling illegal drugs. But soon after months, he returned and resumed his illicit activities. In fact, he was reported to have raped a 14 year-old girl in the said place.

On July 8, 2017, another punitive action was meted out by the NPA to an AFP agent, Jory Gonsaga in Brgy. San Jose, Quezon, Bukidnon. Gonsaga committed crimes against the revolutionary movement, one time in 1991, he stole from a comrade an amount worth P10, 000 and another when he surrendered a .45 caliber pistol to the AFP. Since then, he became an active guide of the AFP troops in their military operations and was responsible in the raid of an NPA camp.

These new rounds of NPA military actions would mean to be a victory for the revolutionary movement and for the oppressed and exploited masses.

Ka Malem Mabini
Spokesperson, NPA-NCMR

Pamahayag sa Media | Hulyo 20, 2017

4 ka Aksyong Militar sa NPA gilunsad sulod sa 10 ka adlaw

SULOD LAMANG SA 10 ka adlaw, nalunsad sa New People’s Army – Front 6, South Central Bukidnon Sub-Regional Command, North Central Mindanao Region (NPA-SCB-NCMR) ang duha ka hugna sa taktikal nga opensiba batok sa mga pwersa sa kaaway ug duha ka hugna sa pagsilot batok sa elementong kriminal.

Kaniadtong Hulyo 12, 2017, alas 3:40 sa kaadlawon, gi-ambus sa usa ka platun sa NPA si Benjamin “Nonong” Salusad, lakip ang mga sakop niining CAFGU, sa Brgy. Dao, San Fernando, Bukidnon. Regular nga sundalo si Salusad sa 8th IB, 403rd Brigade, Philippine Army ug aktibo nga naggukod sa rebolusyonaryong kalihukan ug gapanghasi sa mga Lumad sa San Fernando. Kauban ang iyang anak nga si Alde “Butsoy” Salusad, nga lider sa New Indigenous People’s Army for Reform (NIPAR), nahimo usab kining protektor alang sa pagsulod sa mga magun-obong mina ug plantasyon sa Mt. Kirangol ug uban pang bahin sa San Fernando, gawas pa sa kamatuoran nga utok usab ang duha ka Salusad sa pagpatay kang Datu Jimmy Liguyon ug uban pang mga lider Lumad. Apan, tungod sa pagpanalipod sa kasundalohan kanila, wala pa gihapon kini sila gidakop sa estado, taliwala sa warrant-of-arrest batok kanila nga gi-isyu sa Malaybalay City Court.

Sa maong operasyon, patay ang duha ka mga sakop sa CAFGU nga sila Joas Licawan ug Rolan Lumatay, samtang anaa sa kritikal nga kahimtang si Salusad. Sa pagpakighinabi sa media ni Lt. Erwin Bugarin, tigpamaba sa 8th IB, wala nila giangkon ang pagka-sundalo ni Salusad aron mopakita og “limpyo” nga imahe taliwala sa pagkadaut na sa reputasyon niini tungod sa ilahang kaylap nga pagpanglapas sa katungod-tawo.

Isip pagtabon sa ilang baho, human makuha sa AFP ang ilang tumong nga gamiton ang mga Lumad alang sa ilahang pag-atake sa rebolusyonaryong kalihukan, ilaha na kining pasagdan ug gani ilimod pa sa publiko.

Niadto usab Hulyo 14, 2017, alas 2:15 sa kaadlawon, giharas sa duha ka iskwad sa NPA ang 8th IB nga naglunsad og operasyong saywar ug paniktik didto sa Purok 7, Mahayag, Quezon, Bukidnon. Mikabat lang og 27 minutos nga nakigbinayloay og buto ang mga pwersa sa NPA, apan sa kataranta, nagpadayon gihapon pagpabuto ang AFP hangtud 2:45 sa kaadlawon. Duha ang kumpirmadong patay ug wala pa matino ang gidaghanon sa samaron sa panig sa AFP samtang usa ang na-martir sa han-ay sa NPA ug nasakmitan kini og usa ka M-16.

Sa wala pa kini nahitabo, kaniadtong Hulyo 5, 2017, gisilotan sa usa ka tim sa NPA ang usa ka drug dealer ug rapist nga si Noel “Toto” Madrial, 45 anyos, sa Brgy. Mahayag, Quezon, Bukidnon. Nadis-armahan na kaniadto si Madrial og usa ka kalibre .40 nga pistola ug napalayas sa komunidad tungod sa mga kaso sa pagpanghasi sa mga residente, pagpabuto og pusil ug pagpamaligya og shabu. Human sa pila ka bulan, nibalik kini sa komunidad ug nagpadayon sa iyang mga dautang aktibidad. Gani, gikatahong gilugos niini ang usa ka 14-anyos nga babaye sa naasoy nga lugar.

Lain pa usab nga pagsilot ang gilunsad sa NPA kaniadtong Hulyo 8, 2017 sa usa ka ahente sa AFP nga si Jory Gonsaga sa Brgy. San Jose, Quezon, Bukidnon. Dako ang nahimong kaso ni Gonsaga sa rebolusyonaryong kalihukan, kung asa kaniadtong 1991, nangawat kini sa NPA og P10,000 ug gi-surender ang usa ka kalibre .45 nga pistola ngadto sa mga kasundalohan. Sukad niini, nahimo siyang guide alang sa mga military operations sa AFP ug nakapa-reyd sa usa ka kampo sa NPA.

Kining laing hugna sa aksyong militar sa NPA, lain na usab nga kadaugan alang sa rebolusyonaryong kalihukan ug sa katawhang nilupigan.

Ka Malem Mabini
Tigpamaba, NPA-NCMR

Joma Sison: No need for peace talks amid martial law, killings

Inquirer » | Published July 20, 2017 5:31pm

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison on Thursday deemed the peace talks with the government unnecessary due to the Duterte administration’s “obsession with martial law and mass murder.”

Sison’s scathing statement was issued a day after the government canceled its backchannel talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), the CPP’s negotiating arm, following Wednesday’s rebel attack on a Presidential Security Group convoy in Arakan, Cotabato.

“There is really no need for GRP-NDFP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines-National Democratic Front of the Philippines) peace negotiations if the Duterte regime is obsessed with martial rule and mass murder as the way to solve social, economic and political problems and to frighten in vain the revolutionary forces and people to surrender and give up their revolutionary struggle for national and social liberation,” Sison said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte has put the entire Mindanao under martial rule on May 23 following the attack on Marawi City by Islamic fundamentalist groups sympathetic to the ISIS terrorist organization.

The 60-day martial law will lapse on July 22, but Duterte has asked Congress to extend it until the end of the year.

Attack on PSG
Regarding the attack on the convoy, Sison questioned why the PSG van was in the area.

“What is the PSG van doing in Arakan, Cotabato? To make provocations or to stage an Enrile-type ambush on the eve of the martial law proclamation by Marcos in 1972? A preparation for martial law nationwide, thus the PSG van is made to appear as the target of NPA ambush?” he asked.

The attack injured five PSG men namely Staff Sergeant Arniel Matunhay, Sergeant Gerry Torsar, Corporal Rodel Ledesma, Corporal Ayam Alia, and a Staff Sergeant Lisondra.

The Duterte administration has kept firm on its stand to discontinue peace talks with the communists if they persist in their hostilities against the government.

The fifth round of talks was put on hold in May after the government peace panel pulled out from it following the CPP’s call for the NPA to intensify attacks on the heels of the martial law declaration in Mindanao. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK/KVD, GMA News

Duterte’s dialogue with Bayan shows: change would only come from the people

Press Statement
19 July 2017

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines’ Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms (NDFP RWC-SER) is gravely concerned with the statements made by GPH Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in his dialogue with leaders of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) last July 18.

Duterte’s decline of Bayan’s reasonable plea for the end of martial law and, on the contrary, his push for the further extension of martial law in Mindanao and relatedly the GPH’s insistence for a “prolonged ceasefire” as a precondition for the continuation of the GPH-NDFP peace talks – all these do not at all bide well for the peace negotiations.

All these indicate that the GPH is just looking at the military angle of the crisis in Marawi and of the problems of the whole country, and that the GPH lacks interest to work out with the NDFP fundamental agreements towards solving the socio-economic and also the political-cultural root causes of the armed conflict with the objective of achieving real and lasting peace in the country.

The RWC-SER bilateral teams of both parties have just recently met, and have gradually been making actual headways towards forging an agreement that would break up the age-old feudal land monopoly and pave the way for genuine agrarian reform throughout the country. The talks on socio-economic reforms should even be further accelerated, if only the GPH would take discussions on the NDFP’s proposed draft of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) more seriously.

Duterte’s supposed openness to other reform measures would eventually all be rendered meaningless, as he tends to scuttle the peace talks and gives in more and more to the interests of and pressures from the military fascists in government and from the US imperialists behind these fascists.

He had earlier said that he would also like to terminate labor contractualizaton, push for free school tuition and for more practical reform measures. None of these would find reality any longer, if the GPH keeps on insisting only at the military aspects of and apparent solutions to the country’s problems, and does not even look at the abuses made by the GPH’s military and at the intrusions of the US troops that have exaggerated and even further worsened the Marawi crisis.

We are calling on the Filipino people to intensify their struggles for real and significant reforms, raise their revolutionary consciousness, strengthen their organized strength, fight for genuine social change, and press for real peace efforts. Let us seek to mobilize hundreds of thousands, and up to millions, to push for progressive reforms that are pro-people – and against policies that are pro-US, fascist, militarist and neoliberal.

Let us intensify struggles for genuine land reform, for the junking of labor contractualization, for the grant of free tuition in schools, and for the release of all political prisoners.

Let us intensify calls to soonest end martial law in Mindanao and to prevent it from being declared throughout the country, to seriously continue with the peace talks, to end the militarization of Lumad communities and other victims of oppression in the countryside, and to junk the Visiting Forces Agreement and other one-sided military treaties with the US.

Genuine change – whether in the form of significant reforms within the current system or of the latter’s revolutionary overthrow – will only come from the collective actions of the Filipino people.###

Alan Jazmines
Vice-Chairperson, NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms
Contact Number: + 63 949 137 7260

On the plan to extend martial law in Mindanao to end of year

Information Bureau | Communist Party of the Philippines
18 July 2017

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) firmly denounces the plan of GRP President Duterte to extend martial law in Mindanao up to December 31, 2017. This will result in worse military and police abuses. It will prolong the restrictions against civil and political freedom and aggravate violations of people’s democratic rights. It will further suppress the truth to control the narrative to favor the AFP.

Duterte continues to build the foundations of authoritarian rule under US imperialist tutelage. His supermajority of congressional sycophants are likely to approve without question Duterte’s Mindanao martial law extension plan.

Duterte wants to extend martial law in the vain hope of completing the suppression of the armed resistance in Marawi City. He has launched a war which he cannot finish. The Duterte-US-AFP war has roused the Moro people to take up arms to seek retribution for all the death and destruction perpetrated by the fascist siege and incessant aerial bombardment of Marawi City. They demand a halt to the siege in order to return to their homes. The submission of the revamped draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law as an urgent bill in congress will fail to pacify the Moro people whose oppression has been underscored again by Duterte’s war to suppress their aspirations. A conflagration of Moro armed resistance is bound to flare up across the Bangsamoro.

Martial law in Mindanao is directed at the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Party-led forces as much as the Moro people. AFP armed offensives against the NPA have been stepped-up over the past two months. Aerial bombings and shellings have been carried out in North Cotabato, Bukidnon, Davao del Sur, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and elsewhere. Workers rights have been suppressed. Attacks against civilian communities have stepped up. Paramilitaries have been emboldened by martial law and are subjecting the Lumad people to threats and harassments. Across Mindanao, at least 10,000 people have been forced to evacuate in less than two months in addition to the 410,000 evacuees from Marawi and nearby towns

Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao or nationwide, is an assault on every Filipino’s rights and freedom. Under its camouflage, US military forces are carrying out outright intervention through electronic surveillance and use of attack drones especially at night. It is set to be further reinforced by plans to implement a national ID system, which can be weaponized to restrict the people’s rights to free movement and as a tool for mass surveilance. With Mindanao martial law extension and threat of expansion, Duterte can exercise the power to railroad his tax reform plan and other economic policies and infrastructure projects that are detrimental to the people’s rights and interests.

Thus, it is imperative for the entire Filipino people to vigorously oppose this plan. Revolutionary forces nationwide are firmly united and ever determined to resist martial law in Mindanao. The New People’s Army must continue to strengthen itself nationwide by carrying out armed counteractions and offensives across the country to defeat the Mindanao martial law and nationwide all-out war.

Discussing socio-economic reform proposals is the enabling environment conducive to peace talks – NDFP RWC-SER

Media Release
14 July 2017

“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The enabling environment most conducive to the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations is the buckling down to work in crafting a comprehensive agreement on substantial socio-economic reforms that will benefit the Filipino people and the adherence to human rights and international humanitarian laws including the release of all political prisoners, as promised by the Duterte government.”

NDFP RWC-SER Vice Chair Alan Jazmines stressing the need to proceed with the discussions on socioeconomic reforms during the 3rd round of formal talks in Rome January 2017 / Altermidya.net

This was the declaration of Alan Jazmines, vice-chairperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines’ Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms, amid the announcement of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines that back channel talks will soon be held to discuss the creation of an “enabling environment” for the resumption of the fifth round of the peace talks.

According to Jazmines, the backchannel talks are a welcome development for trying to break the current impasse in the GPH-NDFP peace talks caused by the suspension by the GPH of the talks’ fifth round which was scheduled May 27 to June 1.

He also said that the NDFP RWC-SER is looking forward to the bilateral teams’ meeting which aims to come up with a tentative common draft of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) in order to accelerate negotations and complete the latter by the first quarter of 2018.

Jazmines highlighted the urgency to discuss and come up with an agreement on agrarian reform and rural development. He said that in Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, Hacienda Roxas in Batangas, Central Luzon, Negros, the Cordillera, and Mindanao, farmers continue to engage in land struggles to defend their right to the land that they are tilling.

He continued, “The achievement of the third round of the peace talks, the agreement on the principle of free land distribution by the NDFP and the GPH, will amount to nothing unless it is followed up by more concrete and substantive agreements.”

“We expect that there will be no more delays. The talks have already wasted so much time. We have done our assignment and will bring to the table concrete proposals on agrarian reform and rural development, national industrialization, protection of the environment. This is a clear path to take for a just and lasting peace,” Jazmines concluded.###

Alan Jazmines
Vice-Chairperson, NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms
Contact Number: + 63 949 137 7260

2 days of encounter: NPA vs. 8th IB

PRESS RELEASE | July 11, 2017

CABANGLASAN, BUKIDNON – Members of the New People’s Army – South Central Bukidnon Sub-Regional Command (NPA-SCB-SRC) harassed the 24 troops of the 8th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army on July 4, 2015, 4:20 PM, in Sityo Kalakapan, Brgy. Kanangaan, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon. According to reports, a member of the 8th IB was killed while other two were wounded in the two to three minutes’ exchange of fire. Meanwhile, NPA troops safely withdrew from the said area.

On the following day, June 6, around 8:00 AM, 40 troops of the 8th IB and Special Forces, under the 403rd Brigade, made a surprise attack on an NPA camp in a sylvan part of Sityo Miaray, Brgy. Manggaod, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon. They were able to infiltrate the camp’s kitchen and from here, more than an hour of exchange of fires occurred, where three of the AFP troops killed. Meanwhile, a column of the enemies’ troops headed to a favorable terrain, without knowing that a command-detonated explosive was installed in. Just as the enemy positioned, the NPA switched the CDX. The casualties of the enemy on the explosion has not yet been confirmed.

These active defense acts of the NPA took place amid the continuing Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) of the 8th IB in the hinter barrios of Cabanglasan and San Fernando, Bukidnon since November last year. They have not been moved to discomfiture despite the several months of mass protests on their wrong-doings. These are also apparent desperate reactions of the 8th IB from the previous months’ series of victories of the NPA-SCB in weakening their confidant Alamara — the like of the capitulation of arms of seven of their members to the NPA on April 28, the ambush to the siblings Emyong and Oba Balanban on June 2, the sparrow of Jason “Dakson” Lindaw on June 16 and the death of their guide Janie Keblatan during their combat operation on June 23.

The statement of 1Lt. Erwin Bugarin, of CMO-8th IB, that there were NPA casualties on the said encounter, was a big falsehood. They only recovered camp tools and apparatus. No firearms seized and no NPA killed on the said encounters. While he can never disown casualties of the 8th IB, for they mobilized the residents to convey their deceased and injured troops. From these skirmishes, it would be certain that Bugarin would promulgate more fake news through the media against the NPA and the residents of the said town.

On this 48th day of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law over Mindanao, the AFP perpetuated their combat operations, infiltrations and psychological wars towards the revolutionary movement. With the recent decision of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the said declaration, the AFP have been granted with license to disclose its fangs to suppress the people’s basic rights.

During his visit in Malaybalay City on June 6, Duterte mentioned not a single word to the public concerning abuses of the 403rd Brigade against the Lumad residents, just like the forced evacuation of the residents of Cabanglasan and San Fernando. He did not also make a single glimpse on the aggravating cases of extra-judicial killings towards Lumad-leaders in the province and the several months of harassment to communities by the paramilitary groups Alamara, NIPAR and Dela Mance, amid of the warrant-of-arrests dispensed against them. Instead, he prioritized the injured casualties of the AFP in its encounters against the Maute in Marawi and the NPA in Bukidnon. It is then clear that these protectors of investors and multi-national corporations are in his primacy, not the poor majority who purportedly composed the bulge who let him won the elections.

Hence, up until socio-economic agenda will not be accurately and finally discussed in the negotiation table between the GRP and NDFP, the NPA will remain steadfast in defending themselves and the people they serve against the vicious and fascist attacks of the AFP, paramilitary groups and Philippine National Police (PNP) under the plot of the perpetuating all-out war of the regime. In this case, the revolutionary movement will not just intensify. Moreover, the conceiting “Left President”, in his own accord, will get rid of his smokescreen and will be exposed to whom he directs his “change” and “development”.


2 ka adlaw nga panagsangka tali sa 8th IB ug NPA

CABANGLASAN, BUKIDNON – Kaniadtong Hulyo 4 sa may alas-4:20 sa kahapunon, gitagbo og buto sa usa ka tim sa NPA ubos sa South-Central Bukidnon Subregional Command ang 24 ka tropa sa 8th IB nga nag-combat operation sa Sityo Kalakapan, Brgy. Kanangaan, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon. Nataho nga adunay usa ka patay ug usa nga samaron sa han-ay sa 8th IB sulod sa duha hangtud tulo ka minutos nga binuthanay. Luwas nga nakawidru ang tim sa NPA.

Pagkasunod-adlaw, Hulyo 6 sa alas-8:00 sa buntag, surpresang gi-atake sa gitapong tropa sa 8th IB ug Special Forces nga may 40 ka elemento ang kampo sa NPA sa lasangong bahin sa Sityo Miaray, Brgy. Manggaod, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon. Unang nasulod nila ang kusina sa kampo ug dinhi, kapin usa ka oras ang binuthanay diin tulo ang napatay sa tropa sa kaaway. Aduna puy kolum sa kaawayng tropa ang misaka sa paborableng tereyn ug samtang sila nagaposisyon, gi-switch sa NPA ang CDX nga daan nang namontar. Wala pa matino kung pila ang kaswalidad sa kaaway sa maong pagbusikad.

Kini nga mga aksyon sa aktibong depensa sa NPA nahitabo taliwala sa nagapadayong mga Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) sa 8th IB sa bukirong mga baryo sa Cabanglasan ug San Fernando, Bukidnon sukad pa niadtong Nobyembre sa miaging tuig. Wala pa gihapon sila maulaw taliwala sa pipila na ka bulan nga pagprotesta sa katawhan sa ilang mga kalapasan diha sa katungod tawo. Tataw kining Desperado nga mga reaksyon sa 8th IB tungod sa sagunson nga mga kalampusan sa NPA-SCB sa pagpahuyang sa ilang saligando nga Alamara diin kaniadtong Abril 28, 7 ka membro niining maong paramilitary ang misurender sa ilang mga armas ngadto sa NPA pag-ambus sa managsuong Emyong ug Oba Balanban kaniadtong Hunyo 2, pag-isparo kang Jason “Dakson” Lindaw kaniadtong Hunyo 16 ug pagkamatay sa giya nga si Janie Keblatan panahon sa combat operation kaniadtong Hunyo 23.

Ang gibalita kaniadtong Hulyo 7 ni 1Lt.Erwin Bugarin sa CMO-8th IB nga adunay mga NPA nga kaswalti sa maong engkwentro, usa ka dakung bakak. Walay armas nga nakuha ug walay NPA nga nakaswalti sa maong adlaw. Ang ilang narekober kaniadtong Hulyo 6 mga himan pangkampo lamang. Dili niya ikatago ang mga kaswalti sa 8th IB tungod kay ang mga lumulupyo mismo ang ilang gipahakot sa mga patay ug samaron. Subay niini nga hitabo, sineguro nga magpakaylap pa siya og dugang pang mga peke nga balita diha sa media batok sa NPA ug mga lumulupyo sa maong lungsod.

Niining ika-46 nga adlaw sukad mideklara si Presidente Rodrigo Duterte og balaod-militar sa tibuok isla sa Mindanao, mas gipasubsob pa sa AFP ang iyang mga operasyong kombat, pagpaniktik ug saywar ngadto sa rebolusyonaryong kalihukan. Ilabina nga nadesisyunan ning bag-o sa Korte Suprema nga konstitusyonal ang maong deklarasyon, nahatagan og dugang lisensya ang AFP nga ipagawas ang iyang bangkil aron sumpoon ang batakang mga katungod sa katawhan.

Sa iyang pagbisita sa Malaybalay City kaniadtong Hulyo 6, wala man lang gani mahisguti ni Presidente Duterte diha sa publiko ang mga kalapasan sa 403rd Brigade sa AFP karong tuiga sama sa pagpabakwit sa mga Lumad nga lumulupyo sa Cabanglasan ug San Fernando. Wala usab niya hatagi sa pagtagad ang sagunson nga pagpamatay sa mga lider-Lumad sa probinsya ug ang pipila na ka bulan nga pagpanghasi sa publiko sa mga bandidong kriminal nga grupo sa Alamara, NIPAR ug Delamance taliwala nga kini sila anaa nay warrant-of-arrest sa korte. Hinuon giuna pa niya pagtagad ang mga samarong kaswalti sa AFP sa panagsangka niini tali sa grupong Maute sa Marawi ug sa NPA sa Bukidnon. Tin-aw nga kini nga mga protektor sa mga imbestor ug mga multinasyonal nga korporasyon sa Bukidnon ang anaa sa iyang prayoridad, dili ang mayoryang kabus nga mao unta ang dakung bulto nga nakapadaug kaniya sa eleksyon.

Hangtud nga dili tukma ug pinal nga mahisgutan ang sosyo-ekonomikanhong adyenda sa lamesa sa negosasyon tali sa GRP ug NDFP, magpabilin ang NPA sa rehiyon ug sa tibuok nasud nga panalipdan ang kaugalingon ug ang iyang gialagarang katawhan batok sa mapanumpoon ug bangis nga mga pagpangatake sa AFP, mga yunit paramilitar ug PNP sa gambalay sa all-out war nga hangtud karon wala pa gilibkas sa rehimen. Sa ingon niini nga kahimtang dili lang magkakusog ang rebolusyonaryong kalihukan kun dilimas paspas sab nga mabutyag ang tinuod nga hulagway sa nagpakaaron-ingnong Walhon nga presidente sa kung kang kinsa nagaalagad ang iyang mga gitagawtaw nga”kausaban” ug “kalamboan”.


Rural industrialization is key to self-reliant economic development

Media Release | 08 July 2017

NDFP consultant Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis explaining the importance of establishing rural industries that will lay the ground for national industrialization / Altermidya.net

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines’ Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms (NDFP RWC SER) said rural-based sectors are looking forward to the resumption of the formal peace negotiations that will discuss and firm-up unities on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development and fast-track discussions on other pertinent sections of the proposed Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

“The people’s strong clamor for the continuation of the formal peace talks is enough conducive environment for the GPH and NDFP to return to the negotiating table and discuss thoroughly concrete and doable reforms.”

“Genuine development and industrialization of vast rural areas is possible. If a genuine agrarian reform program, rural infrastructure and support services are in place, farmers can unleash their full productive capabilities.”

“Farmers have the experience and capacity to develop the countryside and create rural industries that will benefit millions. Free land distribution is the necessary first step towards this goal,” said NDFP consultant Randall Echanis who challenged the GPH to “walk the talk” on its declaration that free land distribution and support services to farmers are essential in achieving genuine agrarian reform. “If we are to discuss agrarian reform and rural development in upcoming meetings, the GPH should make concrete its recognition of free land distribution.”

The NFDP RWC-SER technical working group recently consulted farmers and peasant leaders nationwide regarding concrete proposals on rural development particularly in the enhancement of major crop lines and rural industries. The consultation was held in preparation for the forthcoming bilateral team meetings of the GPH and NDFP RWC-SER working groups to come up with a tentative CASER draft to accelerate the talks, with the target of completing the negotiations by the first quarter of 2018.

Based on the NDFP draft, industries pertaining to coconut, sugar, abaca, bamboo and rattan, clothing and textile, pottery, furniture and the processing of meat, dairy, spices, fish, fruits, vegetable and other agricultural by-products shall be developed. “These industries are essential mainly to ensure food production for local consumption and develop an agri-based economy.”

“In our discussion with farmers, they reiterated that particular crop lines and rural-based industries can be developed depending on the actual needs of the people and with the objective of establishing rural industries that will lay the ground for national industrialization. Raising agricultural productivity, and provision of agricultural research and development and support services to farmers were also proposed.”

“Correct policy framework is significant in order to reinvigorate rural areas. The sooner we resume with the negotiations, the sooner we can address the needs of the people and the ailing local economy,” Echanis said.

Gradual shift

During the consultation, farmers from the Ilocos region said they are willing to gradually shift from tobacco to other crops, particularly to food crops for domestic consumption like rice, corn, vegetables and others. “If there is irrigation in Ilocos, farmers can produce crops other than tobacco,” Echanis said.

“Since time immemorial, only foreign-owned tobacco companies have benefited from tobacco plantations in Ilocos and Cagayan Valley. Worse, corrupt officials in Ilocos Norte led by Governor Imee Marcos were found to have misused the fund of the Tobacco Excise Tax or RA 7171 that is intended for tobacco farmers and the tobacco industry, now considered as a sunset industry.”

“While we are at it, it is also preposterous for the GPH panel to continue rubbing in the never-ending issue of revolutionary tax at this point to parry CASER when one of their own is accused of plundering people’s tax money,” Echanis said referring to Gov. Marcos’ alleged excise tax corruption. ###

Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis
Member, NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms
Contact Number: 0949-1377260

ILPS statement on G20 Summit in Hamburg, refers to economic crisis and extreme global debt

Issued by the Office of the Chairperson
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
July 6, 2017

The G20 Heads of State and Government will meet once again on 7 and 8 July 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. They have met annually since 2008 to address issues related to global financial stability, economic growth and international trade. In recent years they have expanded their agenda to include other issues closely linked with the global economy, including climate change, development policy, labour market and employment policy, the spread of digital technology and even counter-terrorism.

After 12 summits, the G20 is nowhere near meeting its avowed objectives. Despite claims of economic recovery, growth in almost all the advanced capitalist economies has barely exceeded 2 percent per year since 2010, after contracting in 2008-2009. The ultraloose monetary policies they have adopted have merely succeeded in creating new property bubbles as well as a surge in speculative capital flows and booms in credit and asset markets in so-called emerging economies. This is exacerbating financial fragility rather than enhancing stability.

Moreover, these policies have accelerated the build up of debt both in the imperialist centers and underdeveloped countries. The global stock of debt has grown by over $50 trillion since 2008, surging to a record $217 trillion as of the first quarter of 2017. This is more than three times the output (GDP) of the entire global economy in one year.

Some 10 percent of this global debt stock or around $20 trillion is owed by the US. But China’s debt is rising the fastest, followed by Brazil and India among the so-called emerging economies. Reuters reports that ´emerging´ economies have increased their debt by $3 trillion to $56 trillion, equivalent to 218 percent of their combined GDP. Two trillion of this has been incurred by China, whose estimated debt stands at 260 percent of its GDP. To make matters even more alarming, there’s over $1.9 trillion of emerging market bonds and syndicated loans maturing through to the end of 2017. This is creating the conditions for a new financial convulsion that will be worse than 2008-09.

The finance oligarchy is pleased with the G20, however, as their monopoly banks posted even higher profits in the past three years than before. Indeed, the four biggest US banks were 30 percent larger by 2013 than they had been before the crisis, making them even more “too-big-to-fail” than ever before.

On the other hand, the ranks of the unemployed is expected to exceed 200 million this year according to conservative estimates of the ILO. Of those with jobs, more than 1.4 billion are now in precarious kinds of work, growing by 11 million per year as governments impose labor flexibilization policies to enhance the competitiveness of monopoly firms.

Even middle class families in the advanced capitalist countries are joining the ranks of over 1.6 billion people all over the world who are denied health, education services, and an adequate standard of living. This is made worse by cutbacks in social spending while military expenditure is jacked up for the military-industrial complex, and taxes are reduced for the finance oligarchy.

As in past summits, these harsh realities will be denied or ignored by the G20 leaders in their official statements. More than this, they are intent on using fascist repression against the people who are gathering in the tens of thousands in Hamburg to expose these truths and oppose the anti-people policies of the G20.

This summit is also notable because it is happening amidst rising tensions between the leading imperialist members of the G20. Every major summit so far this year has exposed the widening rift between the US and its traditional allies across the Atlantic. After the G7 Summit last May, German Chancellor Merkel was quoted as saying that, “The times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over. We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands.”

This is in response to the US government’s increasing unilateralism and belligerent attitude vis-à-vis its so-called allies under Trump. At the G7 Summit, Trump refused to commit to a common climate policy because it would constrain the expansion of US monopoly firms. At the NATO Summit also held last May, Trump refused to reaffirm a commitment to Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which obligates member states to come to each other’s assistance when attacked.

Instead he badgered other NATO members to increase their share of the cost of securing global capitalism. Before these, Trump also shelved the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and pledged to renegotiate existing treaties to protect “American” (i.e. US monopoly capitalist) interests.

This is prompting Germany and other European powers to cosy up more with China. They are especially keen on riding the One Belt, One Road initiative of China which plans to build six economic corridors spanning the Eurasian continent by land and by sea.

Hence the G20 will be another venue where increasing inter-imperialist conflicts and realignments will be played out. Underlying this is the intensifying general crisis of monopoly capitalism and the increasing desperation of US imperialism to retain its primacy and the US-led world order it has secured since the end of the Second Word War.

Democratic and anti-imperialist forces in the world must expose the real roots of the crisis of the global capitalist system and the role of the finance oligarchy and the institutions that serve their interests including the G20. It is only through mass struggles that we the people can effectively resist imperialism and liberate ourselves from all reaction.###

Lorenzana ignorant that reforms are at peace talks’ heart

Press Statement | 05 July 2017

NDFP RWC-SER Vice Chair Alan Jazmines stressing the need to proceed with the discussions on socioeconomic reforms during the 3rd round of formal talks in Rome January 2017 / Altermidya.net

The Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP RWC-SER) welcomes the announcement that the fifth round of formal peace talks between the NDFP and the GRP might resume in August. At the same time, the NDFP RWC-SER condemns Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana’s earlier statement that the “government panel should consider ending the peace process.”

This statement only shows that the Defense Secretary is a cold-blooded warmonger who has no interest at all in advancing the interests of the Filipino people. His continuous harping that there should be a bilateral ceasefire before any peace talks can resume is putting the cart before the horse.

He has shown that he has no grasp at all of the roots of the armed conflict. He rejects the fact that socio-economic reforms lie at the heart of the peace talks. He does not seem to care that any substantial gain that can be reached by the NDFP and the GRP would benefit the greater majority of the Filipino people. Without any remorse to the lives lost, he is brazenly pursuing a purely military solution to the armed conflict in the country.

Like the US lapdog and militarist that he is, Lorenzana show no appreciation for the milestone agreement reached by both parties on the principle of free distribution of land to the tillers in the third round of the talks. In fact, he has viciously gone after ordinary farmers and their organizations defending their right to till their land. He has opposed the statement of his own President who has issued a clarion call to occupy oligarchs’ lands.

More and more, Lorenzana is proving himself to be a major obstacle to peace and if President Rodrigo Duterte and the GRP panel want to genuinely pursue the road of peace, they must make sure that such an obstacle is removed.###

Alan Jazmines
Vice-Chairperson, NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms
Contact Number: + 63 949 137 7260