NDFP urges peace negotiations, rejects Aquino precondition

Interview on GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations
with LUIS G. JALANDONI, Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

By Paolo Capino
RPN 9 News Desk Supervisor

Q.: Sir, do you have any pre-condition before you are willing to talk with the government?

We have no precondition for resuming formal peace talks with the Aquino government. We have repeatedly declared that we are ready to resume formal talks on the basis of The Hague Joint Declaration and other peace agreements signed from 1992 to 2004. The Hague Joint Declaration states that no precondition that negates the inherent character and purpose of peace negotiations may be imposed and that the agenda will take up human rights and international humanitarian law, social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and end of hostilities and disposition of forces, in that sequence.

Q. Do you agree with a ceasefire?

We do not agree with Mr. Aquino's ceasefire ("malawakang tigil-putukan") as a precondition for formal talks. This precondition is a violation of The Hague Joint Declaration. It practically blocks the resumption of formal talks and prevents the negotiations on social, economic and political reforms to address the roots of the armed conflict. These reforms, such as genuine land reform and national industrialization, are necessary to respond to the basic aspirations and demands of the peasants, workers and other sections of the people. They are necessary to achieve social justice as the foundation of a just and lasting peace.

Q. What are your other thoughts on the peace talks and what other issues will you likely ask the government for the resumption of the talks?

We have the concrete proposal to resume formal talks on the basis of The Hague Joint Declaration and other agreements. We are suggesting that the Aquino administration send an emissary or team of emissaries to meet with us here in The Netherlands or in Norway to discuss preparations for the resumption of formal talks. Such emissaries were sent by former Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos as well as Gloria Arroyo.

The release of political prisoners (as Cory Aquino did in 1986 and Ramos too from 1992), the indemnification of victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime, the release of NDFP consultants (detained in violation of the agreement of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees), the resumption of meetings of the Joint Monitoring Committee (mandated to monitor the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), negotiation on social economic reforms, are among the points we will take up. But all these and other points both sides will bring up, can be discussed with the emissaries.

The Aquino government should also consider the concrete proposal made by the NDFP on 27 August 2005: "Concise Agreement for Immediate Just Peace " which was personally handed over to the GRP Panel in Oslo on 28 August 2005. Mr. Aquino appears not adequately informed about this and the other above-mentioned concrete proposals of the NDFP.

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