By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
The military, police, paramilitary and "vigilante" forces of the US-directed Macapagal-Arroyo regime launch killing operations with impunity against the revolutionary forces and the people. Since Macapagal-Arroyo came to the presidency in January 2001, they have committed gross human rights violations, surpassing in two years the number of similar violations during the six years of the Ramos regime.
Documented by Philippine human rights organizations and reported to Amnesty International within the period of January 2001 to January 2003 are 172 victims of summary execution, political assassination and massacre, 127 victims of torture, 879 victims of arbitrary arrest and detention, 5,418 victims of illegal search, 4,043 victims of coercion, 9,219 victims of bombing and strafing, 19,917 victims of harassment, 11,179 victims of property destruction, 8,638 victims of divestment of property and 17,564 victims of forced evacuation.
Ms Macapagal-Arroyo has covered up and condoned all these human rights violations under her policy of state terrorism. She decks herself out as someone innocent of terrorism and as a champion of anti-terrorism whenever the New People's Army (NPA) carries out a tactical offensive against notorious criminals and human rights violators. Thus, after the punishment of Romulo Kintanar by the NPA, she and her minions are talking and acting in ways prejudicial to the resumption of the peace negotiations.
As long as the civil war is unresolved, the armed forces of both sides will continue to launch offensives and counteroffensives. Will Ms Macapagal-Arroyo therefore keep on suspending the peace negotiations after every tactical offensive of the NPA and touting herself as an anti-terrorist? And does she think that the NDFP will allow her to gain propaganda mileage by demonizing the revolutionary forces and leaders and blaming them for her own suspension of the peace negotiations?.
The National Council of the NDFP can consider several grounds for declaring its indefinite suspension of the peace negotiations with the GRP:
- The regime has ceaselessly unleashed brutal campaigns of suppression by the military, police, paramilitary and "vigilante" forces, victimizing so many people and suspected revolutionaries.
- The regime has coddled notorious human rights violators and criminals like Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Romulo Kintanar and has condoned their heinous crimes against the people. It has even heaped praises on them.
- The regime has acted as a shameless puppet by yielding to the US and other foreign governments jurisdiction over the revolutionary actions of Filipinos in the Philippines and by allowing the US to misrepresent as acts of terrorism those acts that the GRP itself categorize in its own penal code as rebellion.
- The regime has violated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) by asking the US and other foreign governments to criminalize as terrorist the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant and put under duress the NDFP negotiators, consultants, staffers and supporters.
- The regime has violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) by joining up with the US and other foreign governments in denying the fact that the armed conflict between the armies of the GRP and NDFP is governed by international humanitarian law (Geneva conventions and its protocols).
- The regime has no interest in a just and lasting peace and merely seeks the unprincipled capitulation of the NDFP in violation of The Hague Joint Declaration. Its much-touted draft for a "final peace agreement" is nothing more a demand for the surrender of the principles and weapons of the NPA'
Under the prodding of the US, the Macapagal-Arroyo regime is escalating its armed campaigns of suppression and is unwittingly inciting the revolutionary forces and people to intensify the armed revolution for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes.