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NDFP to Aquino: Stop reliance on foreign troops, return to negotiating table to address roots of civil war

NDFP International Information Office

“Aquino must not rely on foreign armed forces to maintain his grip on power,” declared the International Information Office of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). “It must instead heed the widespread call to return to the negotiating table with the NDFP to address the roots of the civil war.”

The NDFP IIO issued the statement today, citing reports that the Aquino government is allowing troops of the US 13th Air Force to hold military and civil-military operations in the Bicol region under its Operation Pacific Angel 12-1. The operation starts today and is scheduled to last until 10 March 2012.

The foreign office of the NDFP condemned the Aquino government for allowing US troops to engage in military operations in the country. It also criticized the Aquino government’s recent acceptance of US$145 million in military aid and its following the line of the US Government Counter-Insurgency Guide of 2009.

“US military aid and intervention will only worsen the security situation in the country.” The NDFP IIO warned the Aquino government that US military troops will potentially walk into the firing line of liberation forces of the New People’s Army.

“Instead of escalating US military intervention, Aquino should instruct his officials to return to the peace negotiating table. The negotiations can then forge agreements on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and eventually put an end to the armed conflict.”

The NDFP IIO lauded the creative initiative of peace advocates such as the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP). “They have urged the Aquino government to release political prisoners and NDFP personnel covered by the protection of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). This will pave the way for negotiations on social and economic reforms urgently needed under the current economic crisis,” stated the NDFP IIO.

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