By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
March 27, 2018
I appreciate and welcome Senate President Aquilino Pimentel´s statement that he favors the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and that the petition to declare the CPP and NPA terrorist organizations can be withdrawn to clear the way for the resumption of the peace negotiations.
Pimentel´s statement is definitely encouraging to the NDFP and to all those interested in striving for just peace. It rides well on the earlier resolution of the Lower House, signed by 61 lawmakers, urging President Duterte to “listen to the clamor of the people” for a resumption of peace talks between the GRP and and the NDFP.
The cooperation of both houses of Congress is needed for the peace negotiations to resume and advance to a successful conclusion. The concurrence of Congress is needed for a presidential amnesty proclamation to release all political prisoners in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) in exchange for a mutually effective ceasefire as the first step towards the end of hostilities.
The cooperation of Congress is also needed to pass the laws for enabling the realization and implementation of the policy agreements to be embodied in the comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.
The NDFP is definitely willing to resume peace negotiations as soon as the GRP agrees and the Filipino people are certainly clamoring for this. But if President Duterte and his subordinates Lorenzana and dela Rosa are unwilling to negotiate peace, the revolutionary forces and people represented by the NDFP have no choice but to concentrate single-mindedly on fighting those who lust for their blood, death and humiliation.
Still the NDFP, the CPP and NPA will remain open to several possibilities such as that Duterte and his subordinates will change their minds and agree to negotiate peace or they are eventually replaced by a new administration of the GRP.
Duterte and his subordinates ought not to delay the resumption of peace negotiations by believing their own propaganda that they can destroy the revolutionary movement with sheer violence and deception or by harping on the line that the NDFP is insincere. The CPP will soon issue a statement on the 49th anniversary of the NPA to debunk comprehensively the claims of fake military victories and fake surrenders being made by the GRP, AFP and PNP.
As regards to sincerity, the NDFP has more and bigger complaints against the GRP, AFP and PNP for violations of human rights and international humanitarian during and outside ceasefire periods but the NDFP has properly submitted its complaints to the Joint Monitoring Committee under CARHRIHL so as not to disrupt the negotiation of substantive agreements. But Duterte has been the one ignoring the appropriate mechanisms for complaints, ranting publicly against the NDFP, CPP and NPA and repeatedly terminating the peace negotiations.
The best test of sincerity is to maintain sobriety and reasonableness in the peace process, comply with mutually approved agreements and concentrate on the negotiation and forging of agreements on social, economic and political reforms to lay the ground for a just and lasting peace for the benefit of the Filipino people.###