By CPP Information Bureau
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has long put forward substantive and concrete proposals for socio-economic and political reforms and challenged the Aquino government to immediately compose its counterpart negotiating panel and appropriate subcommittees in order to commence discussion on these draft agreements and the rest of the peace agenda in line with agreed upon procedures.
At the same time, the CPP cautioned the Aquino government against forcing the issue of an immediate ceasefire agreement which is premature at this stage when talks have yet to resume. The CPP said that this should be duly taken up in the later stage of the peace negotiations as substantive agreements are made in accordance with the agenda.
This was the reaction of the CPP to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III's call on the revolutionary forces to agree to an "immediate ceasefire." and "put forth concrete solutions rather than pure criticism and finger-pointing." Aquino made the call during his state of the nation address yesterday.
"The NDFP has long declared its willingness and readiness to engage the Aquino regime in peace negotiations. The NDFP negotiating panel and its subcommittees continue to function and await only the next steps of the Aquino government," said the CPP. "Negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) will prosper as long as both sides seriously work hard to come up with mutual agreements addressing the socio-economic and political roots of the armed conflict."
Among the principal documents signed by the GRP and NDFP are The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 which sets the principles, framework and sequence of agenda of the talks, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed in 1995 and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed in 1998.
The CPP explained that the signing of the CARHRIHL comprises the completion of the first of the four-part substantive agenda of the peace talks. Discussions on the second part of the negotiations which covers social and economic reforms have long been stalled after the Arroyo government threw one monkey-wrench after another at the peace negotiations in order to justify launching its allout war of terror during the entirety of its reign from 2001 to 2010.
The CPP said that "The Arroyo regime unilaterally suspended the JASIG; carried out the abduction and forced disappearance of Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid and a number of other NDFP peace consultants and staff members; filed trumped-up murder charges against NDFP senior consultant Jose Ma. Sison to cause his arrest and detention in 2007; and persecuted, arrested and illegally detained several other consultants as well as other critics of the reactionary government. The Arroyo regime earlier also colluded with the US and other imperialist governments to have the CPP, NPA and Prof. Sison included in the "foreign terrorists" listing of the US and European Union in a desperate effort to defame the Philippine revolution, hinder the peace process and pave the way for its war of terror.
"For peace negotiations to prosper under Aquino, he simply must commit to uphold all previously signed agreements and undertake concrete measures to undo the harm caused by the actions of the previous regime and to enhance the process," said the CPP.
At the same time, the CPP advised Aquino "to abide by the agreed upon agenda and discuss the matter of ceasefire in its proper time when fundamental questions of social, economic and political reforms have been forged and start to be operational."
"If Aquino is really interested in effecting a ceasefire the soonest, he can have the peace process hastened in an agreement with the NDFP on the Concise Agreement to End Civil War and Achieve Just Peace put forward as a proposal by the NDFP National Council in 2005," added the CPP. The proposed agreement "lays the basis for the early attainment of truce and just peace on the basis of mutual agreement on principles and policies upholding national independence and democracy and common efforts to resolve the basic political, socio-economic and other problems of the Filipino people."
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NDFP proposes concise agreement to end civil war and achieve just peace immediately
by The National Council
National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)
27 August 2005
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is hereby proposing a Concise Agreement for an Immediate Just Peace (CAIJP) to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), be it the incumbent regime or the new one that may arise soon. Every point in this proposal is demanded by the people and is for their benefit.
The civil war ends and a just peace begins as soon as the GRP co-signs this 10-point concise but comprehensive peace agreement with the NDFP. Alliance and truce become the modus vivendi of the GRP and the NDFP.
The NDFP rejects the proposal of the GRP for a sham peace agreement which requires the revolutionary forces of the NDFP to surrender to the GRP in exchange for empty promises or to engage in a ceasefire agreement for obscuring and freezing the people's demands for major reforms.
The ten points of the peace agreement of the NDFP are as follows:
- Unite the Filipino people through a broad alliance of patriotic and progressive forces and a clean and honest coalition government for genuine national independence and democracy against any foreign domination or control and against subservience.
- Empower the toiling masses of workers and peasants by respecting their democratic rights and providing for their significant representation in organs of the coalition government and for assistance to the organizations, programs and projects of the toiling masses.
- Uphold economic sovereignty, carry out Filipino-owned national industrialization and land reform and oppose imperialist plunder and bureaucratic and military corruption in order to develop the national economy.
- Cancel the foreign debt and reduce the appropriations for the military and other armed organizations of the GRP in order to provide adequate resources and savings for economic development, improvement of the means of livelihood, the alleviation of poverty, the realization of gender equality, promotion of children's rights and welfare and healthy environment.
- Promote and support a patriotic, scientific and pro-people culture through the educational system, mass media and mass organizations, cherish the cultural heritage of the Filipino nation and all the ethno-linguistic communities in the countries.
- Recognize the right to self-determination and autonomy of national minorities, ensure proportionate representation in organs of the coalition government and institutions and provide for affirmative action to countervail longrunning discrimination and wrongs.
- Investigate and try government officials who are liable for treason, corruption and human rights violations.
- Carry out a truly independent foreign policy for world peace and economic development, oppose imperialist acts of plunder and foreign aggression and intervention, and prevent the basing and stationing of foreign troops and weapons of mass destruction in the country.
- Maintain normal trade and diplomatic relations with all countries and develop the closest of relations with other ASEAN countries, China, South and North Korea, Japan and Russia, emphasizing equable exchange of goods, acquiring goods for industrialization and guaranteeing energy supply.
- Inaugurate a truce between the warring forces of the GRP and NDFP for the purpose of alliance and other constructive purposes as stated above.
The above ten points are substantive general statements of principles and policies in the national and democratic interest of the Filipino people. We challenge and urge the GRP to discuss these points and agree on them with the NDFP immediately.
Our proposal is responsive to the demands of the broad masses of the people for basic reforms. Only the rabid puppets, oppressors, plunderers and brutal violators of human rights are opposed to the ten points.
The civil war between the GRP and the NDFP shall cease and a just peace shall ensue within the very day that the GRP and NDFP co-sign the proposed Concise Agreement for an Immediate Just Peace.
Otherwise the Filipino people and revolutionary forces are more than ever justified to continue the new democratic revolution through people's war, even as efforts may be exerted to pursue the peace negotiations within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration.
Issued on behalf of the NDFP National Council
LUIS G. JALANDONI
Member, National Executive Committee
Chairperson, Negotiating Panel
National Democratic Front of the Philippines