It is the GRP, not the CPP-NPA-NDFP, that’s not interested in resuming the peace talks

NDFP Monitoring Committee

The Chairman of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Human Rights Monitoring Committee Fidel V. Agcaoili belied the accusation of Malacañang that the revolutionary movement was not interested in furthering the peace process and resuming the peace negotiations.

“This is a malicious and baseless accusation. On the contrary, it is the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) that has consistently turned down all overtures for the resumption of the peace talks. Worse, since 2001, the GRP has been committing systematic and widespread violations of human rights in its counter-insurgency program dubbed Oplan Bantay Laya I and II."

NDFP Monitoring Committee

The Chairman of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Human Rights Monitoring Committee Fidel V. Agcaoili belied the accusation of Malacañang that the revolutionary movement was not interested in furthering the peace process and resuming the peace negotiations.

 

Lorelei Fajardo, deputy Palace spokesperson, has said that the directive of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) issued for the New People's Army (NPA) during its 39th founding anniversary last March 29 was proof that the revolutionary groups were against the resumption of the peace talks.

“This is a malicious and baseless accusation. On the contrary, it is the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) that has consistently turned down all overtures for the resumption of the peace talks. Worse, since 2001, the GRP has been committing systematic and widespread violations of human rights in its counter-insurgency program dubbed Oplan Bantay Laya I and II.”

Human rights groups place the number of victims of extrajudicial killings under the Arroyo regime at 887, frustrated extrajudicial killings at 370, and enforced disappearances at 185 as of December 2007. Not only do these affirm the Macapagal-Arroyo government’s brutal and repressive character, it also shows its complete lack of sincerity in engaging in peace talks to resolve the roots of the armed conflict,” said Agcaoili.

Agcaoili said that the GRP has unilaterally scuttled the peace talks even as it has hypocritically issued statements that it is willing to resume formal talks. He said that the GRP virtually suspended the peace negotiations in February 2006 when de facto President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of emergency. The GRP concocted rebellion charges against NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Ma. Sison; NDFP Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni; NDFP Panel members Fidel Agcaoili and Juliet Sison; and NDFP Panel consultant Vicente Ladlad; and Rafael Baylosis and Randal Echanis, members of NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms.

Agcaoili said that in previous statements, NDFP Panel chairperson Jalandoni listed some of the major impediments to the peace talks:

  • The repeated declaration of all-out war against the CPP, the NPA and the NDFP;

  • Demanding the capitulation of these revolutionary forces and the initiation of negotiations at the local level for the purpose of dividing the forces;

  • The brutal campaigns of military and police suppression causing the uprooting of more than a million people;

  • The extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of unarmed legal activists;

  • The failure of the Arroyo regime to comply with its obligations stipulated in Oslo Joint Statements I and II regarding the terrorist blacklisting of the CPP, the NPA and Prof. Jose Maria;

  • the failure of the Arroyo government to compensate the victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime; and,

  • the false charges against Prof. Sison resulting in his unjust arrest, detention and continuing persecution.

“All the violent incidents of abductions, extrajudicial killings and the filing of false charges against members and leaders of the revolutionary movement constitute serious attacks against the integrity of the peace negotiations. Even the international community of human rights advocacy groups recognizes the impact of the killings on the peace talks and puts the blame on the GRP.”

“The NDFP Peace Panel has not been remiss in its duty to continue calling for the resumption for the peace talks and the removal of these major impediments the GRP has placed in their way that make it impossible to proceed. We continue to call on the GRP to open its lines of communication and buckle down to work and resume negotiations.”

Agcaoili clarified that the resumption of the peace talks is not predicated on the implementation of a ceasefire between the NPA and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. “It is the GRP that insists on pursuing an all-out war policy against the revolutionary forces and the Filipino people. Instead of objectively addressing and doing away with the impediments to the peace talks, the GRP demands the surrender and pacification of the revolutionary movement under the pretext of an indefinite ceasefire and in paralyzing the peace negotiations,” he said.

Agcaoili said, however, that there would be a better chance for the peace talks to resume if the GRP were under a new administration. He added that there were enough manifestations of the fact that the GRP under the Arroyo regime is intransigently against the resumption of formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

“The removal of the Arroyo regime from power can be a significant step towards a just peace if a new leadership of the GRP would cooperate with the NDFP in resuming the formal talks in the negotiations and addressing the roots of the armed conflict through social, economic, political and constitutional reforms,” he concluded.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *