By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
Alex Padilla’s allegation that the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines proposed informal talks with the Aquino government only after the arrest of the Tiamzons is completely untrue and malicious. He knows that in our meeting in Makati on 27 February 2014, weeks before the arrest of the Tiamzons, we already stated our willingness to agree with the proposal of the Royal Norwegian Government to hold informal talks or consultations with the Aquino government in May 2014.
The RNG Foreign Minister, during his visit to the Philippines in early January 2014, conveyed our proposal to hold such informal talks to GPH President Aquino and Secretary Teresita Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). In two meetings NDFP Panel member Coni Ledesma and I had with the Minister Counsellor of the Norwegian Embassy in Manila, on 14 and 21 February, he knew of the NDFP’s willingness to hold such informal talks, and he informed Alex Padilla of such willingness in a meeting just before our meeting with Padilla on 27 February.
Alex Padilla’s statement that the Aquino government now wants to talk only with the Communist Party of the Philippines in the Philippines and not with the NDFP Negotiating Panel is not a new intrigue. He and Secretary Deles, and other spokespersons of the Aquino government, have made such declarations. This is just another move to avoid negotiating with the NDFP Negotiating Panel, which has been mandated by the CPP and other revolutionary forces in the NDFP to represent them in peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH/GRP). In the face of this type of intrigue on the part of the Aquino administration, this mandate has been reiterated.
The possible agenda of the RNG proposed informal talks or consultations, in accordance with the Agreement on Ground Rules of 26 February 1995, were doables like rehabilitation projects for Yolanda affected communities such as coconut farmers. A session on the Colombian talks was mentioned, because one of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry officials, Ingrid Ekker, is involved in these Colombian negotiations. The two Parties would have to agree on the agenda in consultation with the Norwegian officials.
If the Aquino administration continues to refuse to respect the JASIG and other bilateral agreements, and puts forward intrigues and false allegations to avoid even informal talks, then BS Aquino must take the responsibility for killing the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.