Joint Statement of Sen. Madrigal and the NDFP Negotiating Panel

Joint Statement of Senator M.A. Madrigal and the NDFP Negotiating Panel on the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Senator Madrigal and the NDFP Negotiating Panel pointed to the urgent necessity of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration. The peace negotiations must address the roots of the armed conflict and forge the agreements on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms in order to effect a just and lasting peace.

Joint Statement of Senator M.A. Madrigal and the NDFP Negotiating Panel on the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 

On 12 October 2007, Senator M.A. Madrigal met with the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and Chief Political Consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  1. Senator M. A. Madrigal presented the objectives of her meeting with the NDFP Negotiating Panel and Prof. Sison: to know the position of the NDFP on the peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP); to hear the NDFP Negotiating Panel regarding problems in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations; to obtain from the NDFP panelists, consultants and staffers information regarding the raids on their office and homes on 28 August 2007 pursuant to Senate Resolutions Nos. 89 and 108; and to explore ways for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations during or after the term of Gloria M. Arroyo.
  2. In representation of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, Chairperson Luis Jalandoni welcomed Senator Madrigal and agreed with the objectives of her visit. He declared that the NDFP considers the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations as ongoing inasmuch as neither the NDFP nor the GRP has terminated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG); that the NDFP is ever willing to resume formal talks within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992; that the 12 agreements already made by the GRP and NDFP remain valid and binding; and that the GRP, NDFP and the Norwegian government as facilitator clearly consider the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law as valid and binding.
  3. Senator Madrigal and the NDFP Negotiating Panel agreed that Philippine society is afflicted by a grave economic, political, cultural and moral crisis and that the resumption of formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations is urgently needed. They expressed common concern about the Arroyo regime's wanton corruption, gross and systematic violation of human rights and subservience to foreign vested interests. They pointed to the urgent necessity of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration. The peace negotiations must address the roots of the armed conflict and forge the agreements on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms in order to effect a just and lasting peace.
  4. Chairperson Jalandoni described the following as impediments to the resumption of formal talks: the repeated declaration of all-out war against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People's Army (NPA) and the NDFP by the Arroyo regime (demanding the capitulation of these revolutionary forces and negotiations at the local level for the purpose of splitting them); the brutal campaigns of military and police suppression involving such gross and systematic human right violations as the forced displacement of more than one million people from their homes and land and the extrajudicial killing, abduction and torture of more than 1000 unarmed legal activists; the failure of the GRP to comply with its obligations in Oslo Joint Statements I and II regarding the terrorist blacklisting of the CPP, NPA and Prof. Sison; the failure of the GRP to comply with the obligation 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 and the arbitrary and oppressive raids on the NDF Information Office and homes of NDFP negotiating panelists, consultants and staffers.

    He welcomed the proposal of Senator Madrigal that the aforesaid NDFP negotiating panelists, consultants and staffers provide information for the purpose of inquiry by the Philippine Senate. He recognized the importance of establishing the anomalous role of certain officials of the Arroyo regime in deceiving and pushing the Dutch government to undertake actions against Prof. Sison and NDFP Negotiating Panel. In this regard, the information is provided in the form of videotaped statements and other documentary evidence. Chairperson Jalandoni expressed appreciation for the determination of Senator Madrigal to push the urgently needed Senate resolution and legislation to set things aright and improve the conditions for resuming the formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations during or after the term of the Arroyo regime.

    He proposed that while the Arroyo regime is intransigently against the resumption of formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, the Senate Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation (Committee on Peace) and the NDFP Negotiating Panel form their respective committees of experts, with five members each, to discuss the three remaining items (social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and end of hostilities and disposition of forces) and produce within one year a common draft agreement for each of the three items. The process will not supplant the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration but will be undertaken to aid legislation, demonstrate that it is possible to make mutually satisfactory agreements for the common benefit of the Filipino people and to produce the basis for accelerated negotiations and agreements in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

  5. Senator Madrigal welcomed the declaration of the NDFP that it considers the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations valid and continuing in effectivity and that it is ever willing to resume formal talks within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration and subsequent agreements. She also agreed that the impediments to the peace negotiations be resolved, starting with the resolution of those prejudicial questions presented by the NDFP.

    She thanked Chairperson Luis Jalandoni and the NDFP Negotiating Panel for cooperating and providing information regarding the arrest, detention and continuing investigation of Prof. Jose Maria Sison and the raids on the NDF Information Office and homes of the NDFP negotiating panelists, consultants and staffers. She expressed concern that the GRP has repeatedly lobbied foreign governments to take adverse actions against the NDFP Negotiating Panel. She assured the Panel that in her capacity as Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Peace, she would encourage its members and exert all efforts to promote the immediate resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

    She explained the purposes of Senate Resolution No. 108, which she filed and which is currently pending before the Senate Committee on Peace. This resolution seeks to direct the committee to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the arrest, detention and continuing investigation of Prof. Sison and the raids on the NDF Information Office and homes of the NDFP negotiating panelists and staffers. She also explained the method of taking their statements and using them for the purpose of a Senate inquiry.

    She added that as an alternative to creating a committee of experts, she would instead hear Senate Resolution No. 89, which she authored, concerning the review of the status of negotiations between the GRP and NDFP and create a Technical Working Group to assist in hastening the resolution of the remaining items in the substantive agenda of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations for the purpose of enacting remedial legislation, thus demonstrating that it is possible to produce agreements and actually use these to accelerate the progress and success of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. The meetings of the Technical Working Group shall be held in venues deemed appropriate for its purpose.

  6. Chairperson Jalandoni expressed appreciation to Senator Madrigal for her efforts to carry out Resolution No. 89 and for her proposal to create a Technical Working Group in order to develop the will and resourcefulness of the GRP in undertaking peace negotiations with the NDFP, carry out consultations and seek cooperation with the NDFP and encourage both the GRP and NDFP to resume and carry the peace negotiations forward until the goal of a just and lasting peace is achieved.
  7. Senator Madrigal and the NDFP Negotiating Panel agreed that all patriotic Filipino parties, organizations, institutions, individuals and the broad masses of the people must unite to encourage the GRP and NDFP to resume the formal talks in their peace negotiations, address the roots of the armed conflict, accelerate the forging of agreements and bring about a just and lasting peace. They agreed that the solidarity and support of the peoples and states in the international community are needed for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

Signed in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on the 12th day of October 2007.

SIGNATORIES:

Senator M.A. Madrigal

For the Negotiating Panel
of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines:

Luis G. Jalandoni
Chairperson

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