Duterte misrepresents NDFP position in peace negotiations with GRP

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

NDFP Chief Political Consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison answers questions from the press after GRP’s suspension of peace talks in Noordwijk, The Netherlands in 2017. (NDFP archive)

GRP President Duterte is misrepresenting the position of the NDFP in peace negotiations by claiming that the NDFP merely wants to impose a coalition government on the GRP, with powers divided between the GRP and NDFP, thus fragmenting the national sovereignty.

The main interest of the NDFP in the peace negotiations is to push the adoption and implementation of comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms as well as on political and constitutional reforms to lay the ground for a just and lasting peace for the benefit of the Filipino people.

The NDFP expects that as a result of political and constitutional reforms and the realization of just and lasting peace under more democratic conditions the relative weights of political parties shall be decided by the outcome of elections in a republican system of government. The NDFP is not at all demanding that a priori it shall take half of the entire state or government through peace negotiations.

The formation of consultative councils on social and economic reforms and political and constitutional reforms and possibly an over-all consultative and advisory council or committee is intended to facilitate agreement and cooperation between the GRP and NDFP in the course of peace negotiations and in the implementation of the reforms agreed upon.

Instead of hurling ad hominem invectives against me and threatening to kill the peace negotiations several times more than his proclamation of termination, Duterte should direct his negotiating panel to talk with its NDFP counterpart and to obtain clarifications to which he must listen carefully and which he must ponder over and understand.

The peace negotiations between the GRP and NDFP can resume and proceed successfully if the negotiating panels are allowed to do their work and if this is not disrupted by rash statements to the public from any of the principals. The principals can use their respective panels to make complaints and demands to the other side.

The NDFP has remained open to the resumption of the peace negotiations, especially after Duterte declared publicly that he is not using the projected Con-Ass and Cha-Cha to perpetuate his power beyond 2022.