By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Spokesperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
Chairman, NDFP Human Rights Committee
The officials of the reactionary Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), including the de facto president Gloria M. Arroyo, executive secretary Eduardo Ermita and presidential adviser Avelino Razon, should stop issuing press statements that that they are willing to resume formal talks in the peace negotiations between the GRP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
The plain and simple fact is that all these hypocrites are preventing the resumption of the formal talks by continuing to violate the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and refusing to comply with it and remove the impediments that they have imposed on NDFP panelists, consultants and other persons protected by JASIG.
They continue to use false criminal charges to abduct, imprison, torture and murder NDFP consultants and other JASIG-protected persons in the Philippines, to blackmail and pressure NDFP panelists and consultants who are abroad and even to request foreign governments to blacklist, raid, arrest and detain them as previously done in The Netherlands in 2007.
The GRP has not complied with the JASIG and June 15 agreement but has instead maneuvered to undermine and cast away the JASIG and aggravate the impediments on NDFP panelists and consultants. Thus, the NDFP has demanded that the GRP and NDFP panels, together with their respective lawyers, meet in Oslo in order to put in writing the expeditious methods of complying with the JASIG and removing the aforesaid impediments.
But the vicious and arrogant response of the GRP has been to inform the NDFP that there can be no meeting of the negotiating panels to focus on compliance with JASIG, unless the NDFP agrees first of all to set aside the negotiation of social, economic and political reforms and give highest priority to the discussion of “disarmament, demobilization and reintegration” (DDR) through the premature formation of a working group on the end of hostilities and disposition of forces (EHDF).
The GRP has the temerity to suggest that there can be no compliance with JASIG of any kind and no formal talks in the peace negotiations unless the NDFP makes a commitment first of all to form the working group on EHDF as the key to the destruction and pacification of the armed revolutionary movement of the people.
The GRP is showing that it has no interest in peace negotiations as a way of addressing the roots of the civil war through agreements on social, economic and political reforms. It continues to violate JASIG and seeks to impose the DDR framework on the NDFP. It is challenging the revolutionary forces of the Filipino people to intensify their armed revolution for national liberation and democracy.