CLOSING STATEMENT OF LUIS JALANDONI, Oslo, Norway 26 August 2016

Honorable Borge Brende, Foreign Minister, Special Envoy Elisabeth Slattum to the Philippine Peace Process and her facilitation team, Honorable Ambassador to the Philippines Erik Former, Honorable Jesus G. Dureza, GRP Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process, Sec Silvestre H. Bello, Chairperson of the GRP Negotiating Panel and Panel Members and the GRP Delegation, Compatriots and Friends,

At the end of a very fruitful five day resumption of formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, we reiterate our most heartfelt appreciation to our Norwegian hosts for their support, hospitality and solidarity. We are honored by the presence of the Hon. Foreign Minister at the Opening on August 22, his joining us now for the signing of our Joint Statement and conversing with us and expressing his full support for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. We also express our thanks to State Secretary Tore Hattrem, and to Special Envoy Elisabeth and the entire facilitation team.

We cannot achieve this successful and very significant step forward in the peace negotiations without the strong commitment of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the NDFP national leadership, the spirit of goodwill and friendliness of our counterparts: the GRP Negotiating Panel, its Chairperson, Silvestre H. Bello III, the Panel Members, and the other members of their delegation.

This very important step could not have been possible as well, if it were not for the commitment and firm support of the NDFP national leadership to the peace negotiations, and the able assistance of the newly-released NDFP consultants who are very knowledgeable about the situation in the field.

We take this occasion to express our gratitude to our compatriots here in Norway for their warm and hearty welcome.

As I stated earlier, this resumption of formal talks, has had the unique privilege of having our newly released NDFP consultants.

We also express our gratitude to our solidarity friends among the Norwegian people for their long-standing solidarity and their warm welcome every time we come to Norway.

To the political prisoners, we deeply value your unflinching stand for the people. We rely on your invaluabe support. We are resolutely committed to join you and many human rights organizations and peace advocates in pressing for your freedom as a matter of justice.

To the Filipino people who aspire for a just and lasting peace, based on addressing the roots of the armed conflict, through genuine land reform, national industrialization and other fundamental social, economic, and political reforms, we shall work and struggle together, to achieve a just and lasting peace.

Thank you very much! #

Remarks at the Signing of the Joint Statement of the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels Oslo, Norway, August 26, 2016

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison NDFP Chief Political Consultant

I feel both honored and delighted to have participated in the successful resumption of the formal talks in the peace negotiations between the GRP and NDFP. The Joint Statement that we are signing and issuing today manifests the historic significance of what has been accomplished.

The accumulated agreements have been reaffirmed. The participants in the peace negotiations are further assured of safety and immuniy guarantees. The release of the NDFP consultants will lead to the amnesty and release of all those wrongly imprisoned in violation of their democratic rights and such agreements as the JASIG and CARHRIHL.

The plan of accelerated negotiations carries definite work schedules to produce comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

The current unilateral goodwill ceasefire of the NDFP will give way to a unilateral indefinite interim ceasefire in response to that of the GRP. The two unilateral ceasefire declarations are immediately effective and shall be reconciled in a single bilateral document.

I am sure that the Filipino people appreciate the work of the two negotiating panels and that they are elated by the results of the formal talks. These advance their struggle for national and social liberation and for a just and lasting peace.

The negotiating panels and their respective consultants and staff deserve all congratulations for their success and all encouragement for further advances on the long and difficult road of peace negotiations.

Of course the success of both panels can be traced all the way to the political will and determination of their principals, President Duterte and the NDFP leadership, to pursue the peace negotiations and bring about substantial social, economic and political reforms for the benefit of the Filipino people.

We hope that the peace negotiations will continue to be carried out seriously and diligently in response to the worsening crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system and the clamor of the people for revolutionary change.

We congratulate and thank the Royal Norwegian Government and in particular special envoy Ambassador Elisabeth Slattum for the warm, efficient and charming facilitation for the formal talks and the ensuing success.

The chief negotiator of the NDFP Luis Jalandoni shall express to all concerned the collective view and sense of gratitude of the NDFP panel and entire delegation. May the press and all those present convey the good news to the Philippine and international public. Thank you.

JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RESUMPTION OF THE FORMAL TALKS IN THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE GRP AND NDFP

We, the Negotiating Panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) successfully resumed the formal talks in the peace negotiations from 22 to 26 August 2016 in Oslo, Norway facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG), thereby ending almost half a decade of impasse in the formal talks in the peace negotiations.

At the opening ceremonies, RNG Special Envoy to the Philippine Peace Process Amb. Elisabeth Slattum welcomed the two delegations and introduced Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende who gave the opening speech. He reiterated the firm commitment of the RNG to support the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

Sec. Jesus G. Dureza, GRP Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP), and Prof. Jose Maria C. Sison, Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP, expressed the commitment of the two Parties to resume the formal talks in the peace negotiations in order to resolve the armed conflict by addressing its root causes.

The Chairpersons of the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels, Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III and Luis G. Jalandoni, delivered their opening statements and introduced their respective Panel members.

On the side of the GRP: Panel Chairperson Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III and Panel members, Hernani A. Braganza, Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento, Atty. Angela L. Trinidad, and Atty. Antonio B. Arellano.

On the side of the NDFP: Panel Chairperson Luis G. Jalandoni and Panel members Fidel V. Agcaoili, Julieta S. de Lima, Coni K. Ledesma and Asterio B. Palima.
Both sides also brought along members of their respective Reciprocal Working Committees-Social and Economic Reforms (RWCs-SER), Reciprocal Working Groups-Political and Constitutional Reforms (RWGs-PCR), Reciprocal Working Groups-End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (RWGs-EHDF), consultants, cooperators, experts and technical personnel.

The two Panels agreed on the following:

1. Reaffirmation of Previous Agreements

The GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels (henceforth, the Parties) reaffirmed the previously signed agreements since The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 and resolved to conduct formal talks and consultations in accordance with said agreements.

We hereby resume the formal talks in the peace negotiations of the GRP and NDFP. We reaffirm all the previous bilateral and binding agreements made in these negotiations, starting with The Hague Joint Declaration of September 1, 1992, and including the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) of February 24, 1995; the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees (RWC) of the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels of June 26, 1995; and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) of March 16, 1998.

The affirmed documents shall be subject to further developments and enhancements as may be mutually agreed upon.

2. Reconstitution of the JASIG List

The NDFP Negotiating Panel presented the Reconstituted List of holders of the NDFP document of identification who are protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). The GRP Negotiating Panel acknowledged receipt of the said list. Both Parties agreed on the procedure and persons responsible for the documentation of the NDFP holders of identification, safekeeping of documents and verification of the holders of identification in accordance with the JASIG.

3. Acceleration of the Peace Negotiations

The Parties agreed to accelerate the peace process and set the timeline for the completion of the remaining substantive agenda for the talks: socio-economic reforms; political and constitutional reforms; and end of hostilities and disposition of forces. The meetings of the aforementioned shall be held in one venue to enable the Panels to supervise their work. The RWCs-SER will endeavor to complete their work within a period of six months.

Meetings of RWCs, RWGs and JMC

The Panels convened the Joint Meeting of their RWCs-SER and their Reciprocal Working Groups on Political and Constitutional Reforms (RWGs-PCR) and on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (RWGs-EHDF) to discuss the agenda, mechanics and timeline of their work, and the meeting of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) and their Chairpersons. The RWCs-SER, RWGs-PCR, RWGs-EHDF and JMC agreed on the following which were approved by the panels:

a. RWCs-SER

On the methods of work, the RWCs agreed to have an exchange of proposed drafts on the CASER framework and outline on or before September 15, 2016. The exchange of drafts can be done through email.

Thereafter, the RWCs shall submit their respective comments on the proposed drafts on the CASER framework and outline on or before September 30, 2016. They may also submit further clarification or response to the comments on the proposed drafts on or before October 10, 2016.

After the exchange of drafts on the CASER framework and outline and comments and further clarification, the RWCs agreed to meet between October 19 and 30, 2016 to discuss and finalize the framework and outline of the CASER, their work schedule and methods of work and other matters.

b. RWGs-PCR

The Reciprocal Working Groups of the GRP and NDFP on Political and Constitutional Reforms agreed to hold their first and further meetings in Oslo, Norway in synchronization with the meetings of the RWCs on Socio Economic Reforms.

The schedule of the meetings and the respective tasks will be as follows:

  • September 2016 – both RWGs will exchange drafts of their respective outlines through e-mail.
  • October 2016 – the RWGs will meet in in Oslo, Norway for the purpose of arriving at a common draft of the outline.
  • November 2016 – the RWGs will proceed to respectively enflesh the agreed common draft of the outline.
  • December 2016 – the one week drafting of the common draft of the CAPCR by the RWGs will be held in Oslo, Norway.
  • Both RWGs will allow for consultations with Principals and researches thereafter.
  • January 2017 – a one week drafting to complete the CAPCR in Oslo, Norway will continue until the full text of a DRAFT CAPCR is finally completed possibly by the end of January 2017 for submission to the respective Panels.

c. RWGs-EHDF

The Reciprocal Working Groups on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (RWGs-EHDF) of the GRP and NDFP agreed to hold their first and further meetings in Oslo, Norway in synchronization with the meetings of the RWCs on SER and RWGs on PCR.

The RWGs on EHDF agreed to present their respective draft outlines for the Comprehensive Agreement on EHDF on October 24, 2016 or on the next scheduled Panel meeting, whichever comes first. The meetings shall also include:

The formulation of a common outline for the CAEHDF
Date of exchange of first drafts.
Plan for the date of the first meeting to discuss the first draft.
Schedule for further exchange of succeeding drafts.
Plan and timeline for further meetings.

d. Joint Monitoring Committee

The JMC Chairpersons agreed to discuss the following agenda items when it meets on September 20-21, 2016 at 10:00 am at the RNG Embassy in Taguig City or at a neutral venue to be identified by the RNG: (a) Formal revitalization of the JMC, (b) Draft Common Supplemental Guidelines for the Operationalization of the JMC; (c) Issues and Concerns regarding the Joint Secretariat; (d) Proposed Joint Activities; and (e) Schedule of Next Meeting. To facilitate discussion for its next meeting, the GRP MC and NDFP MC Chairpersons will exchange Notes in the next three weeks: (a) the GRP MC will submit its comments on the Draft Common Supplemental Guidelines which were initialed by the JMC in April 2011 at the RNG Embassy in Makati City; (b) the NDFP MC will submit a paper regarding issues and concerns relative to the Joint Secretariat; and (c) the GRP MC and NDFP MC will submit their respective proposals on joint activities of the Joint Secretariat.

4. Releases

The NDFP expresses appreciation for, and the GRP acknowledges, the efforts of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to fulfill his promise to order the release of the NDFP consultants in pursuit of peace and with due consideration to JASIG, as recommended by the GRP Panel. Thus, the aforesaid consultants are enabled to participate in the peace negotiations.

The NDFP thanks the GRP under President Duterte for committing to cause the early release of prisoners (as listed by the NDFP) who are sick, elderly, overly long detained and women based on humanitarian grounds.

5. Amnesty Proclamation

The Parties agree that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Panel will immediately recommend to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte the issuance of an Amnesty Proclamation, subject to concurrence of Congress, for the release of prisoners who are listed by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and who have been arrested, imprisoned, charged, and/or convicted for alleged acts or omissions within the ambit of the Revised Penal Code or special laws in connection with alleged crimes in pursuit of one’s political beliefs. The Parties will discuss the content and language of the prospective Amnesty Proclamation.

6. Ceasefire

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) shall declare and issue an indefinite unilateral ceasefire order to the New People’s Army (NPA) and the people’s militia, upon the end of their current ceasefire order on August 27, 2016. The aforesaid unilateral ceasefire shall be in response to President Duterte’s unilateral ceasefire which was effective indefinitely from August 21, 2016.

The Negotiating Panels agreed to work through their respective ceasefire committees to reconcile and develop their separate unilateral ceasefire orders into a single unified bilateral document within 60 days from the date of this Joint Statement. Said document shall be subject to the approval of their respective Principals.

The Parties also discussed the prospective adoption of annexes to the bilateral ceasefire agreement and the prospective role of a third party in ceasefire monitoring and mediation in relation to the implementation of the ceasefire, and the handling of complaints and alleged violations. The ceasefire agreement shall be deemed interim in relation to the outcomes of negotiations leading to a Comprehensive Agreement on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces.

7. Next Meeting
The Panels agreed to meet again on October 8-12, 2016 in Oslo, Norway.
Expression of Gratitude to the RNG
Both Panels expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the Royal Norwegian Government for its able facilitation, hospitality and continuing support for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. In particular, the Panels wish to acknowledge the following: Minister of Foreign Affairs Borge Brende, State Secretary Tore Hattrem, Special Envoy to the Philippine Peace Process Elisabeth Slattum, Senior Advisor Marianne W. Hille, Senior Advisor Arne Jan Flolo, Advisor Mirjan Ehl, Foreign Service Trainee Ida Marstein and Senior Advisor Marco Mezzera.

Signed in Oslo, Norway on 26 August 2016.

Sec.  Silvestre H. Bello III

Chairperson of the GRP Panel

Luis G. Jalandoni

Chairperson of the NDFP Panel

Hernani A. Braganza

Member GRP Panel

Fidel V. Agcaoili

Member NDFP Panel

Rene V. Sarmiento
Member GRP Panel
Julieta S. de Lima

Member NDFP Panel

Angela L. Trinidad

Member GRP Panel

Coni K. Ledesma

Member NDFP Panel

Antonio B.  Arellano

Member GRP Panel

Asterio B. Palima

Member NDFP Panel

WITNESSES:
Sec. Jesus G. Dureza

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Prof. Jose Maria Sison

NDFP Chief Political Consultant

Elisabeth Slattum
Third Party Facilitator
For the Royal Norwegian Government

The GRP Delegation was headed by Secretary Jesus G. Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. Included in the Delegation are: Panel Chairperson Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, Panel Members Mr. Hernani A. Braganza, Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento, Atty. Angela L. Trinidad, and Atty. Antonio B. Arellano; Undersecretary Diosita T. Andot, Assistant Secretary Dickson P. Hermoso, Consultants Milo S. Ibrado, Jr. and Jose Christopher Fornier II; Communications Group Head Patricia Melizza B. Ruivivar; Panel Advisers Mayors Herbert M. Bautista and Edgardo D. Pamintuan; Working Group Heads Atty. Efren C. Moncupa (RWC-SER Chair and Concurrent GRP-MC Chair), Roberto M. Ador (Alternate RWC-SER Chair), Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria (RWG-PCR), Dr. Francisco J. Lara, Jr. (RWG-Ceasefire), and Atty. Vincent Paul L. Montejo (RWG-JASIG/Releases); Panel Technical Committee Head Danilo L. Encinas and Members Teodoro Cirilo T. Torralba III, Atty. Berlin SM Berba, Col. Francisco Ariel A. Felicidario III, and Police Chief Supt. Agrimero A. Cruz Jr.; and Panel Secretariat Head Maria Carla Munsayac Villarta. Secretariat Staff Oscar B. Bathan and Fe O. Doromal; Support Staff for Communications Edwin G. Espejo and Ruben Manahan; and Technical Staff of Panel Members Rhoda I. Espino and Dr. Jesus Cruz. Also present was Cong. Victor A. Yap as Observer.

The NDFP Delegation was composed of Panel Chairperson Luis G. Jalandoni and Panel Members Fidel V. Agcaoili, Julieta S. de Lima-Sison, Coni K. Ledesma, Asterio B. Palima, members; NDFP Chief Political Consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison; Political Consultants Benito Tiamzon, Vicente Ladlad, Rey Claro Casambre, Danilo Borjal; Legal Consultants Edre U. Olalia, Rachel Pastores, Carlos Montemayor Jr.; Legal Resource Person Marie Yuvienco; RWC-SER Members Alan Jazmines, Rafael Baylosis, Randall Echanis, Adelberto Silva; RWC-SER Consultants Gabriel Kennedy Bangibang, Ruben Saluta, Jaime Soledad; RWG-PCR Members Renante Gamara, Alfredo Mapano, Ernesto Lorenzo; RWG-PCR Consultant Felix Randy Malayao Jr.; RWG-PCR Cooperators Carol P. Araullo, Satur Ocampo; RWG-EHDF Chairperson Wilma Tiamzon and RWG-EHDF Members Pedro Codaste, Porferio Tuna; RWG-EHDF Consultants Tirso Alcantara, Ariel Arbitrario, Eduardo Genelza; JMC Member Concha Araneta-Bocala; Secretariat Head Marissa P. Dumanjug-Palo.


PDF

Download

Next round of talks crucial, needed reforms on the agenda

Press release | OSLO, Norway – “The joint statement that you are about to sign is unprecedented and a step toward just and lasting peace,” said Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, opening the closing ceremonies of the five-day peace talks.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) ended more than half a decade of impasse, resuming the formal talks from August 22 to 26 and coming to an agreement in all six items in the agenda.

“We further welcome the acceleration of the peace negotiations…Norway is committed to assist you in your way to peace. We are happy to welcome you again in October and I can promise you Indian summer in October,” said Brende.

The Panels agreed to meet again on October 8-12, 2016 in Oslo, Norway.

“I am sure that the Filipino people appreciate the work of the two negotiating panels and that they are elated by the results of the formal talks. These advance their struggle for national and social liberation and for a just and lasting peace,” said Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant.

“We cannot achieve this successful and very significant step forward in the peace negotiations without the strong commitment of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the spirit of goodwill and friendliness of our counterparts: the GRP Negotiating Panel, its Chairperson Silvestre H. Bello, the panel members and other members of their delegation,” said Luis Jalandoni, Chair of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, in his closing statement.

The Negotiating Panels signed the “Joint Statement on the Resumption of the Formal Peace Talks in the Peace Negotiations” on August 26, just before 12nn, at the Saga Hall of the Scandic Holmenkollen Park Hotel.

The Panels agreed on six points: reaffirmation of previously signed agreements, reconstitution of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) list, acceleration of the peace negotiations, releases of political prisoners, amnesty proclamation and ceasefire.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the NDFP shall declare and issue an indefinite unilateral ceasefire order to the New People’s Army (NPA) and the people’s militia, upon the end of their current ceasefire order on August 27, 2016 in response to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s unilateral ceasefire effective indefinitely from August 21.

jonb-5

Photo NDFP

The parties agreed that the GRP would immediately recommend to President Duterte the issuance of an Amnesty Proclamation, subject to concurrence of the Philippine Congress. The proclamation shall order the release of all political prisoners and prisoners listed by the NDFP.

“To the political prisoners, we deeply value your unflinching stand for the people. We rely on your invaluable support. We are resolutely committed to join you and many human rights organizations and peace advocates in pressing for your freedom as a matter of justice,” said Jalandoni.

“This resumption of the formal talks has had the unique privilege of having our newly released NDFP consultants,” said Jalandoni.

The Panels also agreed to accelerate the peace negotiations, setting the next meetings and work timelines of the Reciprocal Working Committees on Social and Economic Reforms (RWC-SER), and the Reciprocal Working Groups on Political and Constitutional Reforms (RWG-PCR) and on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (RWG-EHDF).

The next round of talks in October is crucial because the needed social, economic and political reforms will be on the agenda. Without such agreement on the needed reforms there can be no sustainable and lasting peace.

“To the Filipino people who aspire for a just and lasting peace, based on addressing the roots of the armed conflict, through genuine land reform, national industrialization and other fundamental social, economic and political reforms, we shall work and struggle together to achieve a just and lasting peace,” concluded Jalandoni.

Agreement on 6 major issues bodes well for success of peace talks

OSLO, Norway – “Significant, positive developments and friendly atmosphere in the peace talks, with excellent facilitation of the Royal Norwegian Government,” said Luis Jalandoni, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel Chair, as the fourth day of the peace talks ended on a positive note.

The Negotiating Panels of the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) have reached a common understanding on the six points in the agenda as agreed upon at the start of the formal meetings.

“Good news to the Filipino people that the political prisoners would be released, and land reform and other social and economic reforms will be seriously undertaken. So, the farmers of Hacienda Luisita and Hacienda Look may be gladdened that these steps are going forward,” Jalandoni conveyed.

The Parties reached agreement on the following:reaffirmation of previously signed agreements, reconstitution of the JASIG list, acceleration of the formal talks in the peace negotiations, release of political prisoners, amnesty proclamation by Pres. Duterte and mode of interim ceasefire.

“But we need the people to continue building their strength to defend their rights and to work with us in bringing about a just and lasting peace in our country,” stressed Jalandoni.

Before the last Panel-to-Panel meeting ended, the NDFP brought to the GRP’s attention the planned demolition of the homes 353 fisherfolk and farmer families in Maragondon, Cavite. Real estate and construction companies, one of which is owned by bourgeois comprador Henry Sy, are claiming control over the 600-hectare beachfront of Patungan Cove.

According to a peasant group, Kasama-TK, some 300 policemen arrived on the night of August 24, on 10 buses and 7 six-by-six trucks.

“The revolutionary spirit of Bonifacio must be revived to intensify the struggle of the people of Maragondon and of the Filipino people,” said Jalandoni.

Andres Bonifacio, the leader of the Philippine Revolution of 1896 to end Spanish colonization in the country, was believed to have been betrayed and executed at the foot of Mount Nagpatong and Mount Buntis in Maragondon.

The Joint Statement for this round of the talks will be signed by both Panels on Friday, August 26 at 11am. Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brenden would attend the signing of the Joint Statement on the Resumption of the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations.
The Parties decided to hold formal meetings again in the second week of October with different working committees tackling various issues related to the proposed reforms in the social, economic and political fields. #

Socio-economic reforms and political reforms necessary to achieve lasting peace

“Julie has been ready with SER [social and economic reforms] for a long time,” commented Jose Maria Sison of his wife. This was expressed by other members of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) negotiating panel as well.

Julieta De Lima is the Chair of the Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms (RWC-SER) of the NDFP.

“We have long wanted to alleviate the plight of the people. We are open to reforms under this kind of system because we want to lift the people from poverty,” said De Lima.

Salient parts of the SER include land reform, national industrialization and betterment of workers’ welfare, social services and education among others.

THE RWC-SER met in the afternoon of August 23 to talk about schedules of their meetings, outline and planned activities. The substantive agenda on social and economic reforms is next to be negotiated by two parties, as per the framework set by The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992.

“We are ready to give them our draft outline, but they [Government of the Republic of the Philippines or GRP] do not have a draft yet. So the exchange would happen in our October meeting,” said Julie De Lima.

The RWC-SER agreed to meet between October 19 and 30 of this year. It will only be the third meeting of the RWC-SER since the peace talks started.

Bilateral discussions on the SER halted after peace talks between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) broke down in 2004. The 2011 resumption of formal talks under the Benigno Aquino III presidency did not also reach discussions on the SER.

“We [NDFP and GRP] have already agreed on the principles in 2001, save for two that they had contentions then. But everything else was okay,” recalled De Lima.

The two matters that the GRP contended in 2001 was the use of the term “indigenous peoples” instead of the NDFP-proposed “national minorities.”

The GRP also wanted to use “industrialization” instead of the NDFP’s “national industrialization.”

“The term “national” is important to us because we use it to mean that industrialization should be for the people, not just for profit-taking by foreign capitalists. All the industrialization they say we have now made us an exporter of goods and provider of services. We want a self-reliant economy,” explained De Lima.

Both parties agreed to strive to come up with a complete draft six months from the meeting. The draft agreed by two parties would then be submitted to their principals for approval.

“As far as we [NDFP] are concerned, [GRP and NDFP] have almost completely agreed on the principles of the SER,” said De Lima.

The NDFP first submitted their draft of the SER to the GRP in 1998, upon completion of the agreement on the first substantive agenda, the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian law (CARHRIHL). It was created from consultations with “revolutionary forces, NDFP consultants and the Filipino masses.”

“We have been revising, updating and completing it a few times since it has been drafted a long time ago. We continue to work on the part on national industrialization,” relayed De Lima.

“What we put in the SER are points acceptable even to the Philippine constitution and even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so we are expecting that we won’t have a tough time with the SER. But on our part, we also build on the socialist aspirations of the people,” said De Lima.

The Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) met as well to set a meeting where they can talk about the revitalization and operationalization of the committee. The JMC was set up since 2004 as part of the implementation of the CARHRIHL. Prior this meeting, the JMC was last convened in 2011.

The Reciprocal Working Groups for Political and Constitutional Reforms and for End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces also met. They agreed to meet in October.

The Panels agreed to fast-track the peace negotiations. Different working committees, working groups, sub-committees and sub-groups will be formed to accelerate the work on the drafting of the proposed agreements on socio-economic reforms and political reforms. If agreements are forged on such reforms then it would bring the country closer to the attainment of a just and lasting peace. #

GRP and NDFP panels reaffirm previous agreements

Press release | OSLO, Norway – The panel-to-panel meeting between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) commenced in the morning of August 23.

Today, the panels finished the discussion on the affirmation of previous signed agreements, reconstitution of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) list and acceleration of the peace negotiations.

This meeting at the Reidar Andersen, Birger Ruud and Thorleif Haug Halls of the Scandic Holmenkollen Park Hotel came after the representatives of both panels had agreed and approved the program of the five-day formal peace talks the previous day.

Photo NDFP

Photo NDFP

On the first item of the agenda, the two panels agreed to reaffirm all previously signed agreements since The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 and resolved to conduct formal talks and consultations in accordance with said agreements.

Aside from The Hague Joint Declaration, both parties reaffirmed all the previous bilateral and binding agreements made in the peace negotiations that include the JASIG of 1995; Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees of the GPH and NDFP Negotiating Panels of 1995; and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) of 1998, the first of four items of the substantive agenda in the peace negotiations that have been agreed upon by both sides.

jonb-44

Photo NDFP

The NDFP panel presented the reconstituted list of holders of the NDFP document of identification (DI) that gives them protection by the JASIG, which was acknowledged by the GPH panel. The GPH agreed to issue a letter of acknowledgment on the receipt of the NDFP list.

The JASIG is meant to provide the conditions conducive to free discussion and movement of NDFP personnel involved in the peace negotiations and to avert any incident that may jeopardize the peace negotiations. Without the JASIG, peace negotiations would not be possible.

Both parties agreed to accelerate the peace process and set the timeline for the completion of the three remaining items in the substantive agenda namely, social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

Photo NDFP

Photo NDFP

The two sides agreed that the Reciprocal Working Committees on Social and Economic Reforms (RWC-SER) of the GPH and NDFP shall meet in September. The RWC-SER shall tackle and strive to reach an agreement on genuine land reform, national industrialization, workers’ rights and welfare, social welfare, education and culture. They would also strive to finish within six months from September the tentative Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms to be submitted for approval by both panels.

The last session of the day consisted of the simultaneous meetings of the Reciprocal Working Committees on Social and Economic Reforms and the two Reciprocal Working Groups on Political and Constitutional Reforms and End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces. They discussed the agenda of their next meetings, the mechanics and schedule of their future work.

NDFP Media Group

Reference:
Dan Borjal
email: dfborjal@gmail.com
twitter: https://twitter.com/dfborjal
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dborjal
viber: +31643108419

Peace talks resume in Oslo

OSLO, Norway – The much-awaited resumption of the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has finally taken place on August 22, 2016 in Oslo, Norway with the opening ceremonies at the Nobel Hall of the Holmenkollen Park Hotel.

jonb-1

RNG Special Ambassador to the Philippine Peace Process Elisabeth Slattum

The opening ceremonies started with the short introductory speech of Special Ambassador to the Philippine Peace Process Elisabeth Slattum welcoming the two delegations and expressing the hope that the resumption will set a strong foundation for the negotiations ahead. She then gave the floor to Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende who welcomed the two delegations on behalf of the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) that has been acting as facilitator in the peace negotiations.

In his speech, he noted that the armed conflict between the GPH and NDFP has been one of the longest-running armed conflicts in the world. He said that the negotiations will be difficult and will take time.

jonb-3

Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende

He reiterated the commitment of the Royal Norwegian Government to give its full support to the peace negotiations and expressed the hope that the two parties will succeed in tackling the substantive issues and arrive at important agreements.

Then Sec. Jesus G. Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process representing the GPH principal President Rodrigo Duterte, and Prof. Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant representing the NDFP principal Mariano Orosa gave their opening statements.

jonb-4

Sec. Jesus G. Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

In his speech, Dureza noted the fact that the Philippine conflict has gone on for more than forty years and negotiations for more than 30 years. It is time to end the conflict.

There is a new element that has emerged that gives hope for the success of the present round of talks. That new element is the Duterte presidency.

Sison thanked the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) for having served as third party facilitator of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations since 2001 and for having helped in a big way to keep the peace process alive.

He said that “the NDFP is optimistic that objective conditions and subjective factors in the Philippines are more favorable than ever before for carrying forward the peace negotiations and reaching the ultimate goal of a just and lasting peace through basic social, economic and political reforms.”

He further said that President Duterte won the presidency of his government on the promise of fundamental changes.

jonb-5

Prof. Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant

“For the first time in the history of the Philippines, a president has emerged by denouncing the abuses of the oligarchy and the folly of servility to foreign powers and by using street language and methods of the mass movement. He is proud to describe himself as the first Left president and as a socialist, willing to seek common ground and cooperation with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.”

Sison stressed that the “CPP, NPA and NDFP are ever willing to cooperate with the Duterte government in pursuing the just cause of national and social liberation against foreign and feudal domination…There are great possibilities for the benefit of the people which can be charted and blueprinted by the comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms.”

He said that such reforms would “involve the assertion of national sovereignty and territorial integrity and the abrogation of unequal treaties and agreements; the democratic empowerment of the working people, social justice, economic development through national industrialization and land reform; expanded free public education, a patriotic and progressive kind of culture; international solidarity of all peoples and trade and diplomatic relations with all countries.

“It is not enough to seek the end of hostilities. A just peace must be founded on and sustained by reforms that lift the people from the morass of underdevelopment, social injustice and poverty. In striving for such reforms, we can have truce and cooperation and form a government of national unity, peace and development.”

He ended on an optimistic note saying, “I am confident that the GPH and NDFP negotiating panels will achieve significant success at this resumption of formal talks and will steadily proceed to the ultimate success of the entire peace negotiations.”

This was followed by the opening statements of the heads of the two negotiating Panels Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III for the GPH and Luis G. Jalandoni for the NDFP.

jonb-6

Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III, head GRP negotiating panel

Bello welcomed the resumption of the formal talks after a long hiatus. He noted the fact that the talks have gone on for decades without arriving at a final agreement. He expressed hope that this time it would be different. He stressed the commitment of President to achieve peace under his watch.

Jalandoni said that the NDFP was confident that both negotiating panels, consultants and staff, will be able to take up the agenda agreed upon on the June 15 Joint Statement signed in Oslo. He enumerated following agenda points for the coming five days: 1. Reaffirmation of previous peace agreements; 2. Reconstitution of the list of personnel covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees; 3. Acceleration of peace talks on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and end of hostilities and disposition of forces; 4. Amnesty Declaration for the release of all detained political prisoners; and 5. Mode of interim ceasefire

jonb-7

Luis G. Jalandoni, chair NDFP panel

As part of confidence building, he pointed to the agreement stated in the Joint Statement of June 15 regarding the release on humanitarian grounds of the sick and elderly, overly long detained, and women political prisoners and an amnesty proclamation to release all political prisoners being held in GPH jails. It would give an incentive to the revolutionary forces to enter into a ceasefire agreement with the GPH.

On the subject of ceasefire which is another major point of the agenda, Jalandoni said that careful study and discussions are needed to make sure that clear premises, terms and mechanisms are agreed upon in order for the ceasefire to be more stable, less prone to violations and less vulnerable to actual occurrences and allegations of ceasefire violations.

He said that an indefinite and prolonged ceasefire, could amount to capitulation and mere pacification, if there were no substantive incentives for the revolutionary movement and assurance of success in forging satisfactory agreements on social, economic and political reforms.

He likewise ended on a positive note saying: “With the commitment for just and lasting peace, declared by GPH President Rodrigo Duterte and the leadership of the NDFP, Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, we are confident we can decisively move forward towards achieving a just and lasting peace. The Filipino people, our Third Party Facilitator, our peace advocates in the Philippines and abroad, are one with us in aspiring for meaningful reforms like land reform and national industrialization, political and constitutional reforms that will strengthen our independence and national sovereignty, negotiate the end of hostilities, and attain a just and lasting peace.”

jonb-8

Migrante International Europe delegation

A delegation from Migrante International Europe presented to the two negotiating panels a document Agenda of Filipinos in Europe containing the issues dear to the hearts of Filipino migrants. Filipino migrants now number more than 10 million in different parts of the world and their remittances have played a big role in keeping the Philippine economy afloat. The Migante delegation expressed the hope that the two sides will find time and space for their issues in the peace negotiations.

(Full texts of the speeches of Joma Sison and Louie Jalandoni are attached.)

NDFP Media Group
Reference:
Dan Borjal
email: dfborjal@gmail.com
twitter: https://twitter.com/dfborjal
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dborjal

Related posts;

Opening statement on the resumption of formal peace talks

Remarks at the opening ceremony of the resumption of formal talks in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway, August 22, 2015

Videos

Opening statement on the resumption of formal peace talks

by LUIS G. JALANDONI,
Chairperson, Negotiating Panel
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
August 22, 2016

Hon. Foreign Minister of the Royal Norwegian Government, Borge Brende, Hon. State Secretary Tore Hattrem, Special Envoy to the Philippine Peace Process, Elisabeth Slattum, Hon. Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Hon. Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, Compatriots and Friends,

We in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines Negotiating Panel, Consultants and Staff, warmly greet and convey our heartfelt thanks to the Royal Norwegian Government for its determined and painstaking efforts as Third Party Facilitator since 2001 in patiently and efficiently working to move the peace process forward.

Their unwavering assistance and support, and the uniquely significant commitment of GPH President Duterte to push ahead the peace negotiations to address the roots of the armed conflict in order to achieve a just and lasting peace, with the tremendous efforts of our dedicated staff of lawyers and other committed organizations, have brought us to this point of high expectations for the success of our endeavors to achieve a just peace.

It is our unique privilege that in this session, our newly released NDFP consultants are present. Surely, their long standing dedication to serve the people and their rich experience will be a major contribution to these peace negotiations and give a decidedly significant push to achieve our goals in attaining a just and lasting peace.

May I introduce our Negotiating Panel: Vice-Chairperson of our Panel is Fidel Agcaoili, also the Chairperson of our Monitoring Committee under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), Julieta de Lima, Chairperson of our Reciprocal Committee on Social and Economic Reforms, Coni Ledesma, Member of the Monitoring Committee and Chairperson of the NDFP Special Office for the Protection of Children, and Asterio Palima, our representative for the Nordic countries. Of course, all of you know, Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Founding Chairperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines and NDFP Chief Political Consultant. We have a further array of consultants, lawyers, and staff whom you shall surely get to know in the following days.

We are confident that both our negotiating panels, consultants and staff, will be able to take up the agenda we both agreed upon on our June 15 Joint Statement signed here in Oslo. We shall take up the following agenda points in the coming five days:

1. Reaffirmation of previous peace agreements;
2. Reconstitution of the list of personnel covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety
and Immunity Guarantees;
3. Acceleration of peace talks on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional
reforms, and end of hostilities and disposition of forces;
4. Amnesty Declaration for the release of all detained political prisoners; and
5. Mode of interim ceasefire

We shall once more take a point stated in our Joint Statement of June 15, namely, the release on humanitarian grounds of the sick and elderly, overly long detained, and women political prisoners.
More importantly, we expect the realization of the amnesty proclamation to release all political prisoners as a necessary incentive for the ceasefire between the two parties. Our constituency demand that there ought to be a substantive reason for the high risk of agreeing to an indefinite and prolonged ceasefire, which could amount to capitulation and mere pacification, without substantive incentives for the revolutionary movement and without assurance of success in forging satisfactory agreements on social, economic and political reforms.

Whatever is the mode of ceasefire for a start or in the long run, there must be clear premises, terms and mechanisms so that the ceasefire can be more stable, less prone to violations and less vulnerable to actual occurrences and allegations of ceasefire violations. At the same time, the ceasefire should promote the advance of substantive negotiations and agreements and not deter or delay the peace process. The two panels must discuss fully the subject of ceasefire before further work is assigned to the respective ceasefire committees of the GPH and NDFP.

With the commitment for just and lasting peace, declared by GPH President Rodrigo Duterte and the leadership of the NDFP, Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, we are confident we can decisively move forward towards achieving a just and lasting peace. The Filipino people, our Third Party Facilitator, our peace advocates in the Philippines and abroad, are one with us in aspiring for meaningful reforms like land reform and national industrialization, political and constitutional reforms that will strengthen our independence and national sovereignty, negotiate the end of hostilities, and attain a just and lasting peace.

Thank you very much!

Remarks at the opening ceremony of the resumption of formal talks in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway, August 22, 2015

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
and Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic of the Philippines

Hon. Foreign Minister of the Royal Norwegian Government Borge Brende
Hon. State Secretary Tore Hattrem
Special Envoy to the Philippine Peace Process, Ambassador Elisabeth Slattum,
Hon. Jesus Dureza Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Hon. Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Chairperson of the GPH Negotiating Panel
Luis Jalandoni Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel
All compatriots in the GPH and NDFP Delegations
Distinguished Guests and Friends,

It is a great honor and privilege to speak at this solemn opening ceremony of the resumption of formal talks between the Negotiating Panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The Filipino people rejoice over this signal event and the bright prospects of a just and lasting peace in the horizon.

I share with the Filipino people and the revolutionary forces a deep sense of gratitude to the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) for having served as Third Party Facilitator of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations since 2001 and for having helped in a big way to keep the peace process alive. We have always appreciated highly the patience, kindness and wisdom of the Norwegian government and people in encouraging and supporting the process.

We in the NDFP are optimistic that objective conditions and subjective factors in the Philippines are more favorable than ever before for carrying forward the peace negotiations from one comprehensive agreement to another and reaching the ultimate goal of a just and lasting peace through basic social, economic and political reforms.

The chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system has aggravated and deepened. The big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats have become more oppressive and exploitative in the context of unbridled greed under the neoliberal regime of global capitalism. The broad masses of the people are fed up with the rotten system. They are desirous of revolutionary change. They look forward to the possibility of change through fundamental reforms through the peace negotiations.

President Duterte won the presidency of his government on the promise of fundamental changes. For the first time in the history of the Philippines, a president has emerged by denouncing the abuses of the oligarchy and the folly of servility to foreign powers and by using street language and methods of the mass movement. He is proud to describe himself as the first Left president and as a socialist, willing to seek common ground and cooperation with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

The CPP, NPA and NDFP are ever willing to cooperate with the Duterte government in pursuing the just cause of national and social liberation against foreign and feudal domination. They have an ever growing revolutionary strength which can combine with a patriotic and progressive kind of government to fight for the national and democratic rights of the Filipino people. There are great possibilities for the benefit of the people which can be charted and blueprinted by the comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms.

Even as President Duterte has shifted from expressing a desire for a coalition government with the CPP to fa preference for an inclusive government of the Left, Middle and Right, he offers more hope for the advance and success of the peace negotiations than previous presidents and regimes. After all, the people and the revolutionary forces can benefit from bourgeois democratic reforms in the next six years. The expressed socialist aspirations of President Duterte can be accomplished only if preceded by such reforms.

What do we mean by bourgeois democratic reforms? These involve the assertion of national sovereignty and territorial integrity and the abrogation of unequal treaties and agreements; the democratic empowerment of the working people, social justice, economic development through national industrialization and land reform; expanded free public education, a patriotic and progressive kind of culture; international solidarity of all peoples and trade and diplomatic relations with all countries.

Having mentioned all these as the essential content of reforms, we can say that it is necessary and possible for the negotiating parties to forge comprehensive agreements that lay the basis of a just and lasting peace. It is not enough to seek the end of hostilities. A just peace must be founded on and sustained by reforms that lift the people from the morass of underdevelopment, social injustice and poverty. In striving for such reforms, we can have truce and cooperation and form a government of national unity, peace and development.

President Duterte has shown magnanimity and generosity by promising the amnesty and release of all political prisoners upon the start of ceasefire, by offering cabinet posts to the Communist Party and agreeing to give such posts to highly qualified progressives and by agreeing to release political prisoners in accordance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) as well as on humanitarian grounds.

We have in our midst today the NDFP consultants who were imprisoned in violation of the JASIG and CARHRIHL. They have been released in accordance with the JASIG to enable them to participate in the formal peace talks. They are deeply committed and highly qualified. They can contribute greatly to the advance of the peace process. Let us give them a round of applause.

I am proud to say that President Duterte was my student in political science at the Lyceum of the Philippines when I was still a young professorial lecturer. He became a member of the Kabataang Makabayan of which I was the national chairman. This youth organization vowed to continue the unfinished revolution that was started by Andres Bonifacio. This meant upholding, defending and advancing the national and democratic rights of the Filipino people.

As a public official in Davao City, he knew how to cooperate with the revolutionary forces and act as member or supporter of legal patriotic and patriotic forces like BAYAN and Partido ng Bayan. This is a president who can understand and appreciate the principles and program of the national democratic movement and knows how to forge a just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the civil war and satisfying the just demands of the people.

Why do I talk so long in praise of the principal of Secretary Dureza and the GPH negotiating panel? It is to express goodwill, show rapport and indicate that the two negotiating panels have a good basis for making the current formal talks successful and for bringing the entire process to a successful conclusion.

In conclusion, I wish to point out that President Duterte has done well in choosing an experienced and capable peace advisor and in composing his negotiating panel with patriotic and capable persons who have played significant roles in the past in forging agreements with the NDFP and have participated in the people’s struggle for national independence and democracy. I am confident that the GPH and NDFP negotiating panels will achieve significant success at this resumption of formal talks and will steadily proceed to the ultimate success of the entire peace negotiations. Thank you. ###