Foreign Secretary Ople should not prejudice GRP Mission for exploratory talks

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Secretary Ople should not talk as if he were superior to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and should not prejudice the Arroyo-approved mission of the GRP team to engage in exploratory talks for resuming formal negotiations.

Imposing the GRP draft final peace agreement and making an ultimatum to the NDFP, as Secretary Ople has irresponsibly declared, would violate the Hague Joint Declaration and all other previous agreements. It would destroy the peace negotiations.

Secretary Ople's threats against the NDFP are futile. The NDFP will not capitulate. Its revolutionary forces have fought against the most vicious masters of Secretary Ople, namely Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada. The Filipino people have sent Marcos and Estrada to the dustbin of history.

Threatening the NDFP Chief Political Consultant, Prof. Jose Maria Sison, with the charge of terrorism and murder charges and with extradition and expulsion will only make him fight even more resolutely and militantly, with strong mass support in the Philippines and internationally.

Said charges are clearly fabricated and politically motivated. Prof. Sison is already filing a complaint in the European Court of Justice against the malicious and unjust terrorism charge. An international panel of lawyers is assisting him.

Secretary Ople must be reminded that it is the NDFP National Council, not the NDFP Chief Political Consultant, that decides whether the NDFP negotiates or not with the GRP. But if the persecution of the NDFP Chief Political Consultant continues and pressure is thereby applied on the NDFP Negotiating Panel, the NDFP will no longer negotiate with the GRP.

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