Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is out of touch with reality

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Just like her statement that there is actually peace in Mindanao, GRP President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is again out of touch with reality in presuming that the GRP can just go ahead with peace talks with the NDFP.

The raging battles in Sulu, with the AFP suffering the loss of two colonels and more than 100 soldiers, demonstrate the presumptuousness of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She declared that signing of a GRP-MILF peace agreement would be a mere formality because there is actual peace in Mindanao. She set aside such substantive agenda as the issue of ancestral domain and the numerous violations of the ceasefire agreement with the MILF.

Now she is again so presumptuous as to think that peace talks with the NDFP can just go ahead. She sets aside the prejudicial issue of her connivance in the “terrorist” listing of the CPP, the NPA, and Prof. Jose Maria Sison. She altogether ignores that this is a violation of the national sovereignty of the Filipino people, of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees and the fundamental rights of the people and the Hernandez political offense doctrine as stipulated in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

She disregards the fact that her preconditioning the resumption of formal GRP-NDFP peace talks with a prolonged ceasefire is unacceptable to the NDFP. Such a prolonged ceasefire now would violate The Hague Joint Declaration and push aside the negotiations on basic social, economic, and political reforms necessary to address the root causes of the 36-year-old armed conflict. It would open up the revolutionary forces and people to greater violence from the side of the GRP’s military and police forces.

She tries to ignore the scandalous assassination proposal made by her chief of staff Norberto Gonzales at a top level meeting on security. Mr. Gonzales proposed the killing of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the NDFP Chief Political Consultant, as the solution to all of GRP’s problems. This threat together with the “terrorist” listing of Prof. Sison, the CPP and NPA, is designed to put the NDFP panelists, consultants and staff under duress.

Disregarding the above-cited realities, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is indeed presumptuous in thinking that the peace talks with the NDFP can just go ahead. She is out of touch with reality and negotiates with herself.

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