Substantive agreement on social and economic reforms conducive for achievement of peace

The Reciprocal Working Committee on Social Economic Reforms of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP RWC-SER) said the most “enabling environment conducive for the achievement of a just and sustainable peace” is the presence of much-needed social and economic reforms that is the objective of the discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

The GRP panel announced today that it has decided not to participate in the fifth round of talks.

“We came prepared and ready for the fifth round of talks. We came here with the sincere intention of finishing the discussions on agrarian reform and rural development (ARRD) and starting deliberations on the next two important sections of the CASER draft — national industrialization and economic development (NIED) and environmental protection, rehabilitation and compensation,” said Randall Echanis, member of the NDFP RWC-SER.

“We consider the bilateral meetings in Manila on ARRD and NIED held between April to May as productive concerning the participation and commitment of both reciprocal working committees on SER to achieve an agreement that will address the long-standing issues of landlessness, poverty and unemployment. In fact, we have reached key unities with regards to the contentious provisions on ARRD,” said RWC-SER member Alan Jazmines.

The recent developments and GRP’s dogged insistence on its unreasonable demands to the NDFP could pose debilitating effects on the negotiations,” Echanis said.

“This undue delay that was single-handedly caused by the GRP will impact the momentum of the discussions on CASER but it will not diminish the clamor of the Filipino people for genuine social and economic reforms,” Echanis said.

According to a statement issued by the NDFP Panel, the GRP has been insisting on its demand that the Communist Party of the Philippines rescind its order to the New People’s Army for intensified tactical offensives which are in fact in response to the AFP’s widespread military operations and aerial bombings targeting peasant communities that intensified after the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao and the signing of a joint ceasefire agreement without reaching a significant agreement on CASER.

Echanis said the NDFP RWC-SER will continue with its scheduled work. “We are ready to resume discussions on CASER as soon as the GRP is committed and ready,” Echanis said. ###

GRP unreasonable demands disrupt fifth round of talks

PRESS RELEASE, 27 May 2017
Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands

NDFP Panel Chair Fidel Agcaoili answers questions from the media on developments on ongoing 5th round of peace talks in the Netherlands. [Photo: Altermidya]

The NDFP and its delegation came to The Netherlands ready and willing to proceed with the fifth round of talks to work on the draft of CASER (Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms). Once more, the GRP succeeded in sidelining the substantive agenda on social and economic reforms by raising unreasonable demands.

Even before the fifth round could start, Jesus Dureza told the NDFP panel that the GRP panel would not “participate in the scheduled fifth round of talks unless there were clear indications that an enabling environment conducive to achieving just and sustainable peace in the land through peace negotiations across this table shall prevail.”

This seemingly vague statement was actually an ultimatum served on the NDFP to collapse the talks unless it submitted to the following demands: 1) that the CPP rescind its order to the NPA that was in the main responding to the intensified AFP military operations nation-wide before and after Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao and, 2) that the NDFP immediately sign a joint ceasefire agreement even without the necessary agreements on social, economic and political reforms in place. These unreasonable demands have disrupted the fifth round of formal talks.

The CPP order was in response to the intensified AFP operations and widespread human rights violations preceding and following the declaration of Martial Law in the whole of Mindanao. Duterte justified his action by citing as reason the terrorist actions of the Maute Group in Marawi City. But Lorenzana declared that the NPA was also a target of AFP military operations. Silvestre Bello made a subsequent clarification that Duterte had said that the Mindanao martial law was not aimed against the NPA.

However, the facts on the ground belie the clarification made by Bello. We quote from the NPA report sent to the NDFP panel:

“On May 24, AFP units carried out shellings and indiscriminate firing against peasant communities in Barangay Colon Sabak, Matanao, Davao del Sur.

On May 25, on the second day of Duterte’s Mindanao Martial Law, hundreds of elements of the 39th IBPA dropped bombs, shelled and indiscriminately fired 50 caliber machine guns at dominantly Moro civilian communities in Barangay Salat and Barangay Tuael in President Roxas, North Cotabato and Barangay Tangkulan and Barangay Anggaan in Damulog, Bukidnon.

A resident of Barangay Salat, was killed as a result of the aerial bombardments. Several other residents, Norhamin Dataya, Cocoy Dataya, Nasordin Maman and others suffered severe injuries. At least 1,600 residents of the affected barangays were forced to evacuate their communities.

These areas are at least 100-180 kilometers away from Marawi City.

Just this morning, we have received information from NPA units in South Mindanao, Far South Mindanao and parts of North Central Mindanao that search and destroy operations, strike operations, shellings and occupation of peasant communities are currently being carried out intensively by the AFP against the NPA and the peasant masses in the following provinces: 1) Compostela Valley, 2) Davao City, 3) Davao del Sur, 4) South Cotabato, 5) Saranggani, 6) Sultan Kudarat, 7) North Cotabato, and 8) Bukidnon.

Hundreds of people are being rounded up. People are being detained or stopped from travelling for having no identification cards. The military are threatening people against issuing statements that may be deemed anti-government. Military and bureaucrats have issued guidelines restricting people’s rights to assemble and prohibiting them from staging protest actions.

In light of these out and out attacks against the people and their revolutionary forces, NPA units are left with little choice but to undertake more and more tactical offensives in order to defend the masses and the people’s army by stopping the reactionary state armed forces from carrying out their onslaught.”

The second demand for an immediate ceasefire is unreasonable because there are no agreements on reforms in place but also because it one-sidedly demands from the NPA to stop fighting while the AFP continues its all-out war against the NPA and the people. There is impunity in carrying out atrocities against the masses in the rural areas and the ensuing widespread human rights violations under martial law. The GRP also has to comply with long standing agreements on release of political prisoners.

What is even more objectionable to the GRP demand to rush the NDFP into signing an immediate ceasefire agreement is the fact that it is imposed as a precondition to moving ahead with negotiations on CASER the main item scheduled for the fifth round and considered as the meat of the whole peace negotiations. This, in effect, delays the forging of urgently needed social, economic and political reforms which could provide the most enduring basis for peace and social justice.

The NDFP is ready to resume the fifth round of formal talks on the substantive agenda of social and economic reforms when the other side is willing to do so. #

Reference:
Fidel V. Agcaoili
Chairperson
NDFP Negotiating Panel

Opening remarks at the Fifth Round of Formal Talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations at Noordwijk Aan Zee

[This is the full text of the remarks that should have been delivered at the opening ceremony of the fifth round of peace talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations by Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, at the Radisson Blu Palace Hotel in Noordwijk aan Zee on May 27, 2017. Unfortunately, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the GRP Negotiating Panel cancelled the fifth round of talks on short notice.]

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
May 27, 2017

Her Excellency Special Envoy Elisabeth Slattum,
Honorable Jesus Dureza of the OPAPP,
Honorable Silvestre Bello III
Comrade Fidel Agcaoili,
Beloved compatriots in the Panels and Delegations of both the GRP and NDFP,
Distinguished guests and friends,

We in the NDFP thank the Royal Norwegian Government and its special envoy for facilitating the Philippine peace process. We thank all of you who are present at this opening ceremony. We heartily welcome each other today with confidence that we shall continue to move forward towards a just and lasting peace in the Philippines.

We are riding on the momentum set by four successful rounds of talks and by unilateral meetings and bilateral consultations between rounds. We in the NDFP appreciate once more that President Duterte recently received and conversed with the Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel Fidel Agcaoili, Panel member Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria.

To stay on course in the peace process, we must firmly adhere to the major agreements that the GRP and NDFP have reaffirmed since the first round in August last year. We must follow the substantive agenda set by The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Sequence, Formation and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees.

We must assure all the openly known participants in the peace process of both sides and the holders of documents of identification that they are entitled to, protected by and enjoy safety and immunity guarantees under JASIG. It is highly desirable and necessary that all the participants in the peace process are not subjected to any kind or degree of duress, such as surveillance, harassment or threats of arrest or even worse.

We must resolutely comply with and diligently implement the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). The hundreds of political prisoners listed by the NDFP must be released in the most expeditious manner. Even while in the mode of carrying out its all-out war policy, the GRP and its armed forces, police and paramilitary auxiliaries must be guided and bound by CARHRIHL. Likewise the NPA and the people’s militia must comply with CARHRIHL as they engage in self-defense and counter-offensives.

Frankly speaking, the NDFP is unwilling to engage in any kind of prolonged and indefinite ceasefire agreement before there are substantive agreements on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms which are significantly beneficial to the people. The NDFP does not wish to fall into the trap of capitulation and pacification, betraying the trust of the oppressed and exploited masses of the people. It also does not wish to preoccupy the peace process with accusations and counter-accusations of ceasefire violations and put aside the people’s demands for basic social, economic and political reforms.

The Filipino people and both the GRP and NDFP are aware of the fact that on February 5, 2017 GRP Secretary of National Defense Lorenzana declared an all-out war policy against the NPA. In this connection, President Duterte terminated the JASIG and in effect the entire peace negotiations. He also issued on March 7 the order to the AFP to use artillery fire and aerial bombing against the NPA on a nationwide scale. Despite the March 11 backchannel agreement for the GRP and NDFP to resume peace negotiations and to issue simultaneous and reciprocal unilateral ceasefire declarations, President Duterte did not order the issuance of the GRP declaration of unilateral ceasefire, according to a public statement of Lorenzana. The NPA has had no choice but to engage in self-defense and counter-offensives.

The cause of intensified fighting between the armed forces of the GRP and NDFP is the GRP all-out war policy and threat of martial law. It is wrong for anyone to blame the NPA and claim that it has gone out of the command and control of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NDFP. The NPA maintains high fighting morale and iron discipline under the absolute leadership of the CPP. It is even more absurd to claim that the NDFP negotiating panel has lost its authorization from the NDFP to negotiate with the GRP negotiating panel and to make recommendations to the NDFP principal.

If the objective of the intrigue is to justify the GRP all-out war policy and extract a bilateral or joint ceasefire agreement ahead of any substantive comprehensive agreement on basic reforms, the GRP is practically terminating the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations or daydreaming that it can destroy the NPA by force of arms in the course of the peace negotiations. The NDFP Executive Committee has already informed the NDFP Negotiating Panel that the NPA is intensifying the people’s war under the absolute leadership of the CPP to resist and defeat the all-out war policy of the Duterte regime and the scourge of martial law for Mindanao and possibly for the entire Philippines.

However, in so many examples of successful peace negotiations in various countries, it is possible to negotiate while fighting goes on in the battlefield. We were able to forge the CARHRIHL in only six months in 1998, even as the civil war went on between the belligerent forces. It is possible to continue to accelerate the negotiations and forge the CASER within the current year and the CAPCR within the first quarter of the next year on time for the framing and ratification of a charter founding the Federal Republic of the Philippines.

It is preferable to accelerate the peace process rather than overburden or lay this aside with what the NDFP cannot accept: the negotiation of an interim Joint Ceasefire Agreement in violation of the substantive agenda set by The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Sequence, Formation and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees. While the civil war continues, the GRP and the NDFP can demonstrate their respective causes and fighting capabilities within the framework of CARHRIHL. The battles ought to prove that the peace negotiations are necessary.

A prolonged and indefinite interim joint or bilateral ceasefire agreement may be negotiated and drafted in advance but should not be signed and approved by the principals of the GRP and NDFP ahead of any of the substantive agreement even by a split second. We in the NDFP do not wish such a ceasefire agreement to preempt the substantive agreements, especially CASER. The NDFP also considers it desirable and necessary that the basic reforms are being implemented for at least two years before the permanent truce can be formalized in the Comprehensive Agreement on the End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces.

It might be relatively easy for the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels to forge the CASER as a policy agreement. But it might be more difficult to obtain from GRP as annexes to the agreement the executive orders, legislation and constitutional amendments needed to implement CASER in view of the predominance of pro-imperialist and reactionaries within the different branches of the GRP and in view of their priorities which run counter to genuine land reform and national industrialization and which divert economic and financial resources from these.

The security cluster of the Duterte cabinet is interested only in the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary movement through a combination of all-out war policy, martial law and a lopsided joint interim ceasefire agreement. The economic development cluster of the Duterte government is dominated by the neoliberals who oppose social and economic reforms. We refer to the problems in order to solve them.

If used by the Duterte regime to aggravate its all-out war policy against the revolutionary forces, martial law will increase the power of the pro-imperialists and reactionaries within the regime and will incite the revolutionary force and the broad masses of the people to intensify the people’s war. The only conceivable instance when the NDFP can agree with the Duterte regime on the proper use of martial law is when there is an alliance to combat the armed collaboration between US imperialism and local reactionary forces. Otherwise, the regime has to reckon and contend with a broad united front against a Marcos-type martial rule.

They are peace spoilers within and outside the Duterte regime who wish to impugn the credentials of the NDFP Negotiating Panel and the NDFP Chief Political Consultant. The fact stands that the principal of the NDFP Negotiating Panel is the NDFP National Council and its Executive Committee. These include the representatives of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, with the former having command and control over the latter. They make their consensus on whatever policy and course of action to take in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations by relying on the reports and recommendations of the NDFP Negotiating Panel to the NDFP National Council.

The major points that I have presented and stressed in these opening remarks come from the latest appraisal of the situation and the instructions that the National Executive Committee has given to the NDFP Negotiating Panel. The NDFP Negotiating Panel has no command and control over the NPA, just as the GRP Negotiating Panel has no such command and control over the AFP and PNP. But it provides to its principal the reports and recommendations as basis for decision-making.

The NDFP Negotiating Panel through its Chairperson will elucidate to its counterpart the latest instructions that it needs to know.

Thank you. ###

Opening speech for the Fifth Round of the Formal Talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations

[This is the full text of the remarks that should have been delivered at the opening ceremony of the fifth round of peace talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations by Fidel V. Agcaoili, at the Radisson Blu Palace Hotel in Noordwijk aan Zee on May 27, 2017. Unfortunately, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the GRP Negotiating Panel cancelled the fifth round of talks on short notice.]

Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands
27 May 2017

By Fidel V. Agcaoili
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Your Excellencies of the Royal Norwegian Government, Special Envoy Ambassador Elisabeth Slattum and her team of facilitators,

Compatriots in The Netherlands and the Negotiating Panels and Delegations of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP),

Esteemed guests,

We in the NDFP Negotiating Panel have received a Directive from its Principal, the NDFP National Executive Committee.

Firstly, we have been directed to firmly adhere to The Hague Joint Declaration as the framework agreement for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. This Declaration sets forth the substantive agenda which aims to result in one comprehensive agreement after another on respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

The Declaration is reinforced by the Joint Agreement on the Sequence, Formation and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees. Thus, the subject of any prolonged and indefinite ceasefire or cessation of hostilities cannot be negotiated and agreed upon before the GRP and NDFP principals have signed and approved the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (CAPCR). The proper time to discuss a prolonged and indefinite ceasefire is when we reach the point of negotiating and agreeing on the Comprehensive Agreement on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (CAEHDF).

If the NDFP agrees to put the subject of a prolonged and indefinite ceasefire ahead of CASER and CAPCR, it would fall into the trap of capitulation and pacification and it would be abandoning the substantive agenda which are aimed at addressing the roots of the armed conflict through agreements on social, economic and political reforms to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace.

Secondly, the NDFP must demand compliance with Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) – an already existing comprehensive agreement, especially in the face of certain violations. If the GRP does not comply with this comprehensive agreement, there would be no point in making further agreements.

In this regard, the NDFP raises the following prejudicial questions in demanding compliance with CARHRIHL.

1. Why are the political prisoners listed by the NDFP still being kept in prison in violation of the CARHRIHL and its provision on the Hernandez political offense doctrine as well as the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG)? There are expeditious remedies to set aright what is wrong.

2. Why is the GRP carrying out an all-out war policy, occupying communities, taking over civilian functions and using aerial bombs and artillery fire, against the people and revolutionary forces in violation of the CARHRIHL? The use of disproportionate force victimizes most the civilian population rather than the highly mobile guerrilla forces of the NPA.

3. Why are the NDFP Panel member and consultants to the peace talks continuously threatened and harassed?

4. Fourth, it must be pointed out that in raising these prejudicial questions, the NDFP is in no way attempting to hinder the peace talks. We must remember that the NDFP has no record of terminating the peace negotiations. A number of times, it was the GRP, under the Estrada, Arroyo, Aquino and Duterte regimes that has scuttled the peace negotiations, sometimes even without bothering to terminate the JASIG with the proper notice of termination given 30 days in advance.

At this point, the NDFP is faced with two possible reactions from the GRP.

One is that President Duterte may terminate the JASIG and the peace negotiations as he did last February 5 even before he could consult with his Negotiating Panel on February 20. In this event, the responsibility for the further escalation of the civil war will rest squarely on the GRP.

In truth, an all-out war has long been waged by the GRP against the revolutionary forces and people, despite the fact that there were unilateral ceasefire declarations.

As to the release of the hundreds of political prisoners, more than a year of negotiating with the Duterte government has thoroughly convinced the NDFP that the regime has no intention of releasing even the very small number of 15 it last mentioned. Instead, it is increasing the number of political prisoners and the concomitant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. As of May 15, 2017 there are 403 political prisoners, 37 of them were arrested under President Duterte. There have been 59 cases of politically-motivated killings under President Duterte. In addition, there are tens of thousands of displaced persons all over the country as a result of military operations.

The recent martial declaration in Mindanao will surely lead to a burgeoning in the number of political prisoners and human rights violations.

The other possibility is that the GRP and NDFP continue to negotiate peace even while fighting continues in the battlefield. If this be the case, the NDFP remains willing to accelerate the peace negotiations and forge at the soonest time possible the comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms and on political and constitutional reforms before the end of 2017 and early part of 2018, respectively.

Subsequently, the GRP and NDFP can discuss such subjects as the expeditious release of all political prisoners listed by the NDFP and a prolonged and indefinite ceasefire related to the implementation of all comprehensive agreements and the prospective end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

In any case, it is unacceptable to the NDFP for the GRP to insist on putting its demand for any joint or bilateral prolonged and indefinite ceasefire ahead of CASER and CAPCR in order to obtain the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces and the people, and lay aside the substantive agenda and the ever urgent demands of the people for social, economic and political reforms necessary for achieving a just and lasting peace.#

NDFP Negotiating Panel recommends reconsideration of order to intensify attacks vs GRP forces

Statement of Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Poliitcal Consultant
May 26, 2017

NDFP archive

As chief political consultant of the NDFP, I deplore the reported statementof DND Secretary Lorenzana that the NPA is also a target of Mindanao-wide martial law.

The GRP side has clarified that the NPA is not a target. In fact President Duterte himself told Fidel Agcaoili in their recent meeting that the GRP and NDFP should unite against terrorist groups like the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf.

We in the NDFP are together with the GRP in opposing and fighting the ISIS-affiliated and CIA-supported groupslike the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf.

We in the NDFP condemn the attack by Maute group on Marawi City. Earlier NDFP-Mindanao condemned this attack and expressed the deepest concern andsolidariy for the people of Marawi city.
The terrorist act by theMaute group should not be an obstacle to the fifth round of formal talks but should be an incentive to the GRP and NDFP to meet and agree tofight groups that are terrorist because they target, terrorize and harm civilians solely or mainly.

The NDFP Negotiating Panel has recommended to the National Executive Committee of the NDFP andin effect the Central Committee of the CPP to reconsider the order to the NPA to intensify tactical offensives as response to the Lorenzana statement that the NPA is a target of martial law.

Statement of the NDFP panel on the NPA as a target of martial law

The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) has clarified that the New People’s Army (NPA) is not a target of the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, contrary to an earlier statement by GRP DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in the fight against terrorist groups such as the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf that are attempting to affiliate with the CIA-created ISIS or Daesh.

Such clarification is in accord with the message relayed to us by President Duterte when we met last 9 May in Malacañang that the fight against terrorist groups such as Maute and Abu Sayyaf should be a common concern of the GRP and NDFP.

In response to the GRP clarification, the NDFP has recommended to the National Executive Committee of the NDFP and, in effect, to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to reconsider its call for the intensification of offensives in Mindanao.

The NDFP is prepared to unite with the GRP in the fight against groups that are terrorist because they mainly target, terrorize and harm civilians. The scheduled fifth round of talks from 27 May to 1 June would be an opportune occasion to discuss such cooperation and coordination for the immediate benefit of the people.

In this regard, we urge the GRP to reconsider its martial law declaration in Mindanao and intention to impose it elsewhere because military rule, as our own history as a people has shown, will not solve the problems of the people in the social, economic and political spheres.

We hope that the scheduled round of talks would push through and be successful in this regard.

Reference:
Fidel Agcaoili
NDFP Panel Chairperson
Contact No: 0031641324348
May 26, 2017

The Filipino people in Mindanao and the country must strongly oppose Martial Law

Press Statement | 25 May 2017

The NDFP in Mindanao strongly condemns the imposition of Martial Law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, through Presidential Proclamation No. 216, in all 27 provinces and 33 cities in the Mindanao island. We urgently call upon all Filipinos in Mindanao and the rest of the country to unite and rise in militant protest to oppose this draconian edict and push for its immediate lifting.

By placing Mindanao under Martial Rule, the fundamental rights, civil liberties and freedoms of millions of innocent civilians in Mindanao, especially the Moro people, are placed under the threat of abuse by the forces of the AFP, PNP and its paramilitary groups, who are emboldened to commit abuses, such as enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and hamletting among others, with impunity now that they have been given power over and above civilian authority.

Photo: Philippine Collegian

Even the so-called “safeguards” in the 1987 Phil. Constitution cannot guarantee that the AFP and the PNP will not overstep in the implementation of Martial Law in the next two months or more because of its notoriously long history of human rights violations. The main implementers of Proclamation 216 under the Duterte government, particularly Gen. Eduardo Año, Delfin Lorenzana, Hermogenes Esperon, etc., are themselves rabid human rights violators and are styled after the Marcosian brand of militarism.

The recent siege in Marawi City by the so-called Maute Group, which is being made to appear as having links with ISIS, was a brutal assault against the people of Marawi. We condemn in the strongest terms possible this attack, which has mercilessly caused the deaths of a number of individuals and the destruction of livelihood and properties in the city.

However, the Maute problem is but a result of the long-standing Moro problem, which, time and again, the GRP has intentionally neglected and worsened the situation through deceptive solutions. For decades, the Moro people in Mindanao have been thrown into a perpetual state of oppression, exploitation and chauvinism, which has only made it possible for groups with extremist ideals to take root among their ranks.

Thus, on one hand, the GRP has only itself to blame for perpetuating and intensifying national oppression against the Moro people, making the Marawi attack and similar acts possible in recent history. On the other hand, the reactionary government has also taken advantage of this fact by either rearing or tolerating groups such as the Maute or the Abu Sayyaf to serve as means to justify any brazen move on their part to help consolidate or perpetuate themselves in power.

It appears that the Maute siege and the subsequent imposition of Martial Law, which is apparently intended to cover not just Mindanao but the entire country, is being used to play into a grand scheme to entrench themselves in power and thwart any and all effort at deposing the Duterte regime by way of coup d’etat or other similar attempts at regime change.

Whether they will admit to this or not, by placing the entire Mindanao island under Martial Law and suspending the writ of habeas corpus, only the Filipino people ultimately stands to gain nothing and lose everything, from their basic rights and freedoms down to their very source of our livelihood.

The NDFP-Mindanao therefore urges all Mindanaoans, all Filipinos, to stand united in our opposition against the imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao. Martial law is not and will never be the solution to the basic problems that prevail in the country, in fact, it will only serve to aggravate and worsen it. Mindanao is just the beginning; we must mobilize to stop it from spreading to the Visayas and Luzon, and push for its lifting.

We encourage the people to use all available means, including social media, to express strong, unequivocal denunciation of the resurrection of a reviled Marcosian edict. Join all forms of protests organized in school halls, barangay centers and in the streets to amplify our strong opposition.

Furthermore, the NDFP-Mindanao calls on all revolutionary forces to redouble their effort at defending the people from the onslaught of Martial Law. In the final analysis, strengthening the revolutionary armed struggle is the only effective way to fight against the brutality of Martial Law. The various guerrilla fronts in Mindanao are open, and welcomes all who pass the requisites, especially those who come from the cities and are under threat of capture by enemy forces, to join the ranks of the New People’s Army.#

Ka Joaquin Jacinto
Spokesperson
NDFP-Mindanao

Drug pusher in Pangantucan disarmed

PRESS RELEASE
Mayo 25, 2017

A unit of NPA-Mt Kitanglad Sub-Regional Command successfully disarmed at 10:00 oclock in the evening on May 24, 2017 a drug pusher named Melborn Tan of legal age, married but separated from his wife and is residing at Sto. Nino Village, Pangantucan Bukidnon. He is an armed drug pusher and seized from him are four(4) assorted firearms, live ammunitions, ammo magazine and other objects of military value. Confiscated are the following:

  • One (1) Baby M16 with 562 live ammos, 13 ammo magazines and two ammo vest
  • One (1) M2 Carbine with 30 live ammos and one ammo magazine
  • One (1) Shotgun with 14 live ammos
  • One (1) Caliber .22 revolver with live ammos
  • One (1) telescope
  • One (1) jungle knife

Melborn Tan is notoriously known in said place. His firearms were used in intimidating residents of Sto Nino village and for his “protection” in his racket of trafficking illegal drugs which he was in for a long time already. But because of his connections the police were deaf-blind and just leave him untouched.

In general it is the continuing duty of the New People’s Army and particularly the NPA-Mt. Kitanglad Sub-Regional Command to protect the people against the harmful and damaging effect of illegal drugs. It is working hard in investigating and detecting and to lay out appropriate actions to people involved in using and trafficking these illegal drugs without the loss of life.

Ka. Mamerto Bagani
Spokesperson
NPA-Mt. Kitanglad
Sub-Regional Command


SULAT PAMAHAYAG
Mayo 25, 2017

DRUG PUSHER SA PANGANTUCAN, NADIS-ARMAHAN

Malampusong nadis-armahan bandang alas 10:00 sa gabii, Mayo 24, 2017 sa usa ka yunit sa NPA-Mt. Kitanglad Sub-Regional Command (SRC) si Melborn Tan, Hingkud ug Minyo ug nagkabulag sa asawa nga usa ka armadong drug pusher nga nagpuyo sa Sto. Nino Village, Pangantucan, Bukidnon. Nakuha gikan kaniya ang upat ka nagkalain-laing klase sa armas, mga buhing bala, ammo magazine ug uban pang himan-militar. Gilangkuban kini sa:

1 Baby M16 nga may 562 ka buhing bala, 13 ka ammo magazine ug duha ka ammo vest.

1 M2 Carbine nga may 30 ka buhing bala, 1 ka ammo magazine.

1 shotgun nga may 14 ka buhing bala

1 kalibre .22 rebolber nga may ka buhing bala

1 teleskopyo

1 jungle knife

Kini si Melborn Tan gikaintapan sa ilang dapit. Ang iyang mga armas ginagamit pagpanghasi sa mga lumulupyo sa nahisgutang lugar ug isip proteksyon sa iyang negosyong pagpayuhot og iligal nga droga. Dugay na kining nagapayuhot og droga apan nagpakabuta-bungol ang mga pulis bahin niini.

Mapadayunong kaakuhan sa kinatibuk-an sa New People’s Army (NPA) ug partikular sa NPA-Mt. Kitanglad Sub-Regional Command ang pagpanalipod sa katawhan gikan sa makadaut nga epekto sa iligal nga droga. Sa mga lugar nga iyang ginalihukan, nagapaningkamot kini nga maila ug mahimoan og tukmang lakang kadtong mga tawo nga nalambigit sa pagpayuhot ug paggamit og iligal nga droga nga walay kinabuhing makalas.

KA Mamerto Bagani
Tigpamaba
NPA-Mt. Kitanglad SRC

Stop Martial law in Mindanao, intensify revolutionary struggle

New People’s Army Regional Operations Command
Southern Mindanao Region

Press Statement
May 25, 2017

The New People’s Army Regional Operations Command in Southern Mindanao calls Proclamation No. 216 dated May 23, 2017 of GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte imposing State of Martial Law and Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the whole of Mindanao a recipe to intensify revolutionary struggle against the ruling system.

The proclamation is not a knee-jerk reaction to the Marawi incident but a long-thought of plan by the military generals that helped catapult Duterte to the GRP presidency. As hatched by the rabid, ultra-right, anti-communist diehards of his administration, among the targets of Duterte’s proclamation according to Gen. Delfin Lorenzana is the revolutionary movement in Mindanao. Thus, in doing so for such period of time, Duterte has given the NPA the de facto and compelling reason to do away with ceasefire for the time being and intensify tactical offensives against his government.

Duterte attempts to consolidate his power, not by siding with the interest of the masses, but by fulfilling the wishes of military generals to resurrect full-blown martial power over the civilian bureaucracy. His appointment of Gen. Año as Martial Law administrator after the latter’s assignment to the GRP’s DILG post is proof of the AFP’s hand in resuscitating the Marcosian rule by undermining civilian powers and promptly installing a military government. Gen. Lorenzana would later be designated as the Martial Law administrator while Gen. Año as chief implementer.

In less than 48 hours, Duterte’s declaration gave a chilling effect as senseless arrests and apprehension of Moro civilians and other civilians were made, movement and usual routine in business establishments were regulated, and travel and movement by ordinary workers and commuters were stifled. Cities are being transformed into garrisons, while struggling peasants, workers and leaders of people’s organizations are even made more vulnerable to harassments, abuses, torture, and threats.

Ordinary citizens, professionals and most importantly, the peasants, workers and other basic masses should rally against Duterte’s foolhardy proclamation to protect their fundamental rights to life, security, expression, assembly, due process, movement, privacy and other basic rights. Duterte’s proclamation is driving the Filipino people to take up arms and struggle against this government—ironically, acts of rebellion and insurrection which his proclamation seek to stifle.

Thus, all NPA subregional, front and other territorial units are directed to protect and defend the people in their areas of jurisdiction. The NPA shall complement efforts of the People’s Democratic Government in all levels in the region to campaign against and stop the Martial law. Red fighters shall defend the masses in the offensive mode by launching tactical offensives against legitimate military targets. All NPA units shall pre-empt abuses by military and police officers by imposing arrests and checkpoints against these Martial Law implementers.

There is no other way for the people to enjoy its precious freedoms but by actively protecting such basic liberties. And it cannot be fought for without waging arms and advancing the war.

Rigoberto F. Sanchez
Spokesperson
NPA-SMROC

Response to Bello’s claim that martial law is not against the NPA

Communist Party of the Philippines
May 25, 2017

GRP chief negotiator Silvestre Bello III insists that the CPP made an error in calling on the New People’s Army to intensify its tactical offensives against the AFP. He claims the declaration of martial law in Mindanao is not against the NPA.

Not only is Duterte’s martial law against the NPA, it is against the people in general. It curtails the people’s civil and political rights. It curtails their freedom of movement and other freedoms. Martial law transfers these freedoms to the military and subjects the people to abuse. Under martial law, it is the military, these notorious abusers of human rights, who rule.

In Davao City, with its overzealous martial law supporter Mayor Sarah Duterte, people in their communities are being rounded up. Close to three hundred people have already been arbitrarily arrested by the military for failing to comply with the arbitrary rules imposed by the military and the militarist-minded bureaucrats. Duterte’s martial law is bound to be worse than its Oplan Tokhang.

With these stringent policies, Duterte is demonstrating that under his martial law, everyone is a suspect until they can prove otherwise. As every Filipino knows, especially the poor and downtrodden, proving one’s innocence to the military is often impossible.

The GRP must be made to answer for these gross violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). These are in addition to the outstanding issues of close to 500 political prisoners who remain detained under the Duterte government, as well as the growing list of human rights violations perpetrated by the AFP under its Oplan Kapayapaan.

The imposition of martial law in Mindanao will have negative implications in the ongoing NDFP-GRP peace negotiations.

As Duterte’s martial law is against the people, it is imperative for the New People’s Army (NPA) to take action to oppose and fight it in order to defend the people’s rights and interests.

If it was true that martial law in Mindanao is not directed against the NPA, then Bello must inform Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. In announcing the declaration of martial law, it was Lorenzana himself cited the NPA as one of the GRP’s “problems” why the entire Mindanao had to be put under martial law.

Moreover, even before the Duterte regime’s declaration and imposition of martial law in Mindanao, the AFP has been carrying out a dirty war through occupation of civilian communities, extrajudicial killings, abductions and detentions under its Oplan Kapayapaan. Emboldened by Duterte’s order to the military to “flatten the hills,” it has carried out aerial bombardments near civilian communities, sowing terror among the residents and damaging their livelihoods. These attacks have been carried out primarily against the peasant masses who the AFP suspect to be active in the revolutionary cause.

Only by intensifying revolutionary armed struggle can the people defend their rights and interests.