Impediments to the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations should be done away with

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

As follow up to the Joint Statement that I co-signed with Senator M. A. Madrigal in Amsterdam on 12 October 2007, I am issuing this statement in order to complete the list of impediments which the Arroyo regime has put up to stop the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and prevent the resumption of formal talks.

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

As follow up to the Joint Statement that I co-signed with Senator M. A. Madrigal in Amsterdam on 12 October 2007, I am issuing this statement in order to complete the list of impediments which the Arroyo regime has put up to stop the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and prevent the resumption of formal talks.

Under the direction of the US government and the Arroyo regime, the Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security (COCIS) has put up the aforesaid impediments. Most malicious members of the committee are the most rabid pro-US agents who are militarists, like executive secretary and anti-terrorism council chieftain General Eduardo Ermita and fanatical anti-Communist national security adviser Norberto Gonzales.

The Arroyo regime is obsessed with the objective of seeking the outright military destruction of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army and the NDFP and laying aside the framework of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations established in The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992.

The regime regards its all-out war policy as the means of not only seeking the outright destruction of the revolutionary forces but also forcing their capitulation under the pretext of an indefinite ceasefire. Failing in either purpose, the high bureaucrats and military and police officers fake so-called localized peace negotiations in order to list ghost surrenderees, make imaginary projects and privately pocket large amounts of so-called amnesty and rehabilitation funds.

The Arroyo regime has undertaken a series of policy measures in order to sabotage and stop the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and give free rein to state terrorism and the most brutal campaigns of military and police suppression against the revolutionary forces and the people.

  1. In demanding as precondition to the resumption of formal talks the capitulation of the NDFP under the guise of indefinite ceasefire, the Arroyo regime flagrantly violates The Hague Joint Declaration which clearly requires that the peace negotiations address the roots of the armed conflict with social, economic, political and constitutional reforms and that no precondition whatsoever shall be imposed by one side on the other that would violate the inherent character and purpose of peace negotiations. Such precondition also violates the agreement on the sequence of negotiations on the four items in the substantive agenda. The fourth and last item in the agenda is the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.
  2. Since the last quarter of 2001, the Arroyo regime has welcomed US military intervention in the Philippines. It agreed to the entry of US military forces and to the increase of military supplies to the puppet forces. At the same time, it lobbied the US government to start the terrorist blacklisting of the CPP, NPA and Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel. In August 2002 the CPP, NPA and Prof. Sison were blacklisted by the US and other governments.
  3. Assured of US military support, the Arroyo regime proceeded to undertake Oplan Bantay Laya. Since its launching, more than a million people in the countryside and in the urban poor areas have been forced out of their homes and land by military and police campaigns of suppressions in order to make way for mining enterprises, plantations and other pseudo-development projects. More than a thousand unarmed legal activists have been murdered, abducted and tortured in secret detention places.
  4. In a brazen attack on the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, the Arroyo regime has illegally “suspended” the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and used the list of holders of documents of identification as NDFP panelists, consultants and staffers as an order of battle list for false criminal charges and punitive actions.
  5. NDFP Political Consultant Sotero Llamas was murdered on May 29, 2006 in Tabaco, Albay. The following NDFP consultants, their immediate family and associates, and NDFP staffers have been forcibly abducted and probably tortured and murdered: Philip Limjoco on May 8, 2006 in Dau, Pampanga; Rogelio Calubad and his son Gabriel on June 17, 2006 in Calauag, Quezon; Leopoldo Ancheta on June 24, 2006 in Guiguinto, Bulacan; Prudencio Calubid, his wife Celina Palma and companions Gloria Soco and Ariel Beloy, on June 26, 2006 near Sipocot, Camarines Sur; Federico and Nelly Intise on October 26, 2006 in General Santos City in Mindanao; Cesar Batralo on December 21, 2006 in San Pablo City, Laguna; and Leo Velasco on February 19, 2007 in Cagayan de Oro City, among others.
  6. NDFP Chief Political Cconsultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Luis G. Jalandoni and Panel Members Julieta de Lima-Sison and Fidel V. Agcaoili have been subjected to the false charge of rebellion. Although the Supreme Court has dismissed the omnibus charge of rebellion, Prof. Sison, Jalandoni and de Lima continue to be persecuted with false charges of murder in Leyte and various provinces. Also persecuted with false charges of murder in Leyte and various provinces are: NDFP political consultant Vicente Ladlad and members of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms Rafael Baylosis and Randall Echanis.
  7. The Anti-Terrorism Law, euphemistically called the Human Security Act, has been signed into law. This gives a vague and overly broad definition of terrorism and is a sweeping attack on the human rights of the people, the broad range of opposition and the suspected revolutionaries. It gives the final death blow to the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, unless or until it is declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
  8. The Arroyo regime has extended its repressive rule to the patriotic and progressive Filipinos abroad by duping the Dutch government into recycling a false and politically motivated charge of murder against the NDFP Chief Political Consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison. This charge has been already waste-basketed by the Philippine Supreme Court. But it has been used as pretext to arrest Prof. Sison and raid the office and homes of the panellists, consultants and staffers of the NDFP Negotiating Panel in The Netherlands for the purpose of fishing expedition.
  9. The Arroyo regime is engaged in deception and showing contempt for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations by faking localized peace negotiations and offering money for so-called amnesty and rehabilitation. These are a vain attempt to deceive the people and split the revolutionary movement. They are also intended to line the pockets of the bureaucrats and the military and police officers who fabricate lists of surrenderees and beneficiaries of so-called amnesty and rehabilitation.
  10. In gross violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the Arroyo regime has misappropriated for electioneering purposes in 2004 the money recovered from the Marcos loot and intended for land reform and indemnification of the victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime. For this alone, there is no basis for the NDFP to trust the Arroyo regime in peace negotiations.
  11. The Arroyo regime has reneged on its pledge in 2001 to release political prisoners and undertake other goodwill measures. Instead, it has engaged in gross and systematic human rights violations.
  12. The Arroyo regime has completely failed to comply with its obligation in the Oslo Statements I and II to stand with the NDFP in asserting the national sovereignty of the Filipino people and the territorial integrity of the Philippines against the invasive presumptions of terrorist blacklisting by the US and other foreign governments.

The foregoing impediments should be done away with in order to clear the way for the resumption of formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. Doing away with said impediments is not a precondition but is a matter of compliance with existing agreements of the GRP and NDFP. If the Arroyo regime persists in keeping the impediments, preparations can still be made for clearing the way for the peace negotiations after the current regime is changed.

 

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