By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
Secretary Teresita Q. Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has repeatedly attacked The Hague Joint Declaration as a “document of perpetual division”, and has obscured the fact that the declaration stipulates the 4-point substantive agenda, the first point of which has already resulted in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Deles has publicly dismissed this major agreement as a minor thing.
The NDFP has long insisted that the peace negotiations should now focus on the second point of the substantive agenda – Social and Economic Reforms – in the face of the worsening social and economic crisis resulting from the unbridled neoliberal greed of the foreign monopoly capitalists and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords like the Aquinos and Cojuangcos.
Basic reforms must be made to overcome the social and economic injustices, real massive unemployment, widespread poverty, homelessness, landlessness, the soaring prices of basic goods and services, bureaucratic corruption, the mounting tax and debt burden, the deterioration and disappearance of social services, and other social and economic ills.
At their signing of the CARHRIHL in 1998, during the time of President Fidel V. Ramos, the negotiating panels exchanged drafts of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, with the NDFP giving a more serious and elaborate draft of 50 pages in comparison to the measly three-page draft of the other side. But the regimes succeeding that of Ramos have always found ways of avoiding or preventing the negotiation of social and economic reforms.
The Aquino regime has the obligation to release the imprisoned NDFP peace consultants, in accordance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), and the hundreds of political prisoners in accordance with the CARHRIHL, which prohibits the trumping up of charges of common crimes against suspected political offenders.
If these agreements are not respected by the Aquino regime, the people will not see the need for negotiating and making agreements with such reneging regime. The regime is obsessed with unjustly imprisoning 14 NDFP consultants and hundreds of other political prisoners and disrupting the peace negotiations which are supposed to promote and cause the social and national liberation of more than a hundred million Filipino people.
Deles’ attack on the NDFP, in the form of a pretended complaint that the peace talks have become more procedural than substantive, and that the NDFP is merely demanding the release of its imprisoned peace consultants, is an outright and gross lie. It is calculated to continue the attack on more than 10 agreements solemnly made since the time of the Ramos regime.