By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
The NDFP Panel had very good discussions with Representatives Satur Ocampo, Lorenzo Tañada III and Arthur Defensor of the Peace Mission of the Special Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity of the GRP House of Representatives. After we made a common draft of a joint communiqué, Speaker Jose de Venecia suggested some changes by cellphone to the Peace Mission. We accommodated these changes. Until a few hours before he arrived in the Netherlands, we still made another draft and initialed it.
Unfortunately, upon arrival, about 6 pm yesterday evening, June 27, he wanted the removal of roman numerals V, VI, VII and VIII; and the second paragraph of roman numeral IV.
He wanted the addition of the following paragraph to roman numeral IX:
"The NDFP raised certain prejudicial questions and the Peace Mission recommended that these be referred for discussions and resolution in the preliminary talks between the GRP and the NDFP panels. Other matters such as the convening of the Joint Monitoring Committee, the release of political prisoners, and the indemnification of the human rights victims during the Marcos regime shall also be referred for discussions and resolutions in the preliminary talks."
Our Panel informed the Peace Mission that we could not agree to the changes proposed by the Speaker. Upon his arrival in Utrecht, the Speaker reiterated his proposals. Our panel conveyed our principled position for refusing to accept the drastic changes the Speaker wanted.
Attached hereto is the communiqué that had been initialed about 4 pm of June 27 by the Peace Mission and the NDFP Panel but was ultimately torpedoed by Speaker de Venecia.
We have reliable information that Speaker de Venecia received advice from Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and OPAPP Secretary Teresita Deles to torpedo the communiqué. These officials represent the rabidly pro-US militarists and clerico-fascists (masquerading as social democrats) in the extremely hated, isolated and wobbly Arroyo regime.