NDFP condemns maneuvers of Arroyo regime to prevent substantive peace negotiations

By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Spokesperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

The NDFP Negotiating Panel vigorously condemns the ceaseless maneuvers of the Arroyo regime to prevent substantive negotiations on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration and subsequent bilateral agreements between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The Arroyo regime is now engaged in a propaganda campaign to precondition the resumption of formal meetings of the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels with a prolonged ceasefire and the casting away of previously signed agreements. Such precondition is a violation of the The Hague Declaration which requires that no side shall impose on the other side any precondition that negates the character and purpose of peace negotiations.

As soon as the NDFP agrees to the GRP demand for prolonged ceasefire, the GRP will deem all previously signed bilateral agreements signed by the GRP and NDFP as superseded and will endlessly demand ceasefire and surrender negotiations to take the place of substantive peace negotiations on basic reforms.

The Arroyo regime is utterly malicious in trying to put up-front the last item of the agenda on end of hostilities and disposition of forces in order to preempt and prevent the substantive negotiations on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms. The actual and evil purpose of the Arroyo-Ermita-Gonzales-Esperon clique is to kill off the peace negotiations and turn it into a ceasefire and surrender negotiations at the expense of the NDFP and of the people who need and demand basic reforms.

The NDFP negotiating panel will not go into any informal or formal talks that lays aside the issue of immediate compliance with the existing bilateral agreements between the GRP and NDFP and that focuses on any such issue as prolonged ceasefire, which is not only impertinent but also violative of The Hague Joint Declaration. What is the point in negotiating with any entity that does not comply with previously signed agreements?

The Arroyo regime is utterly unjust. It has murdered, enforced the disappearances of and tortured NDFP consultants and staffers and caused the "terrorist" listing of the allied organizations and the chief political consultant of the NDFP as well as the latter's arrest, the raids on the office and homes of and other persecutory acts against the persons of the NDFP panelists, consultants and staffers in The Netherlands. Instead of respecting and complying with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the regime demands the entire life or political suicide of the people's democratic government and armed revolution of the people through surrender and pacification under the guise of a protracted ceasefire.

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