NPA on Mayor Sara’s peace offer: NDF still the negotiating entity

[Source: DavaoToday.com | by MART D. SAMBALUD | March 2, 2017]

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao emphasized that although it welcomed the talks with Mayor Sara Duterte, it stands by the national leadership of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines as the negotiating entity in the peace process.

NPA Southern Mindanao Spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez issued a statement Wednesday to draw a clear line of its upcoming talks with the city’s local chief executive.

This as Sanchez slammed the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Davao region for requesting an augmentation force that will be deployed in Davao City.

“To make certain its all-out war is sustained, the AFP in the region has already beefed up its infantry. ​Their arrival mocked the public statement made by GRP Mayor Sara Duterte to talk with the NPA in the wake of the tactical offensives in Calinan last week,” he said.

Sachez said the NPA’s tactical offensives against state security forces in Davao region has resulted to 20 fatalities. He added that the communist fighters have also foiled a score of military assaults in Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao City and North Cotabato, respectively.

“By its own account after two day-engagement, the AFP launched massive airstrikes and artillery bombardment in the two separate incidents. More than a total of 500 families in Bansalan and Asuncion towns have been displaced due to the AFP’s indiscriminate shelling,” Sanchez said.

Meantime, the NPA said that it would “abide by their duty to defend the masses and the revolutionary movement by launching punitive actions against the AFP, PNP and their paramilitaries who are deaf to the call for peace by carrying on with a futile all-out war.”

Letter to the Editor: Random thoughts amidst all the din & drone

Press Statement | Letter to the Editor
By Edre U. Olalia
President
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)
+639175113373
9 February 2017

 

The advances & gains reached so far, as well as the on & off the table understandings & commitments in the peace negotiations, despite divergences in positions, difficulties & contradictions, & the crucial outstanding issues that may still be resolved anyway over time with mutual determination and principled negotiations, must be made known widely.

My naive view is that the Parties through their negotiators have hitherto by and large demonstrated in varying degrees, and with distinct motivations, their readiness and willingness to discuss & negotiate the substantive agenda, & shown certain flexibility to meet along the way & accept convergences even as they can remain firm yet not obstinate on certain issues or matters.

We must read carefully and closely the Joint Statements in Oslo & Rome & find out for ourselves these gains & advances & how fast & close the Parties have gone to endeavor a mutually acceptable & honorable agreement in the short & long term.

Then after a studied evaluation, we can appreciate all these and realize there is so much to gain in continuing the momentum rather than squandering what has been reached so far.

Also, we must listen intently with an open mind to all other sources of information and insights rather than rely solely on either incomplete, inaccurate or selective information that fit a pre-designed militarist solution or response to the roots of the armed conflict or to the reasons why a significant number of our countrymen continue to bear arms in arduous struggle to bring fundamental changes in society.

There is a need not only to keep on talking but also the need to keep on listening.

Further, everyone should eventually realize that honoring commitments, fulfilling pledges & respecting solemn & binding bilateral agreements is the most principled gesture of good faith & enduring trust necessary to continue negotiating with sincerity despite differences.

Finally & most importantly, identifying, addressing. & resolving the roots of the armed conflict and their manifestations — continuing and vicious stark penury, massive injustice , widespread landlessness, chronic maldevelopment, deprivation of basic human needs & social services, asphyxiating foreign intervention & control, unscrupulous greed for self-serving power, unmitigated exploitation & oppression of the few by the many — are more than compelling reasons to come back to the negotiating table.

Resuming the peace talks without the indispensable requisite of safety & immunity guarantees as a matter of fair play for those who stuck out their necks, and without complying with solemn & binding bilateral agreements & commitments will make the resumption of the talks extremely difficult & impracticable, if not impossible, though.

Keep on talking even when there is fighting. But keep on listening as well. #

 

Joma Sison: Phone chat with Duterte on peace deal ‘productive’

[Inquirer.net] Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, had a phone conversation with President Duterte on Monday.
Sison confirmed in an online (Facebook) post that he discussed with Duterte several issues regarding the ongoing peace negotiations.

“I had a friendly and productive phone conversation with President Duterte about advancing the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations at around 7 p.m. last night Utrecht time,” Sison said.

Sison, who is also the founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines, said the unilateral ceasefire declarations will be respected during the holidays.

“The unilateral ceasefire declarations of the GRP and NDFP will stand during the Christmas and New Year holidays,” Sison said.
Both parties had a tradition of declaring short ceasefire declarations during the holidays in the past.

Meanwhile, Sison hinted that no bilateral ceasefire agreement will be signed this year explaining that this will be discussed in the third round of talks in January.

“Bilateral ceasefire agreement and the amnesty and release of the political prisoners listed by the NDFP can be discussed and agreed upon before, during and even after the third round of formal talks in Rome from January 18 to 24,” Sison said.

The NDFP is asserting that the immediate release of at least 434 political prisoners is needed as a compliance of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/855172/joma-sison-phone-chat-with-duterte-on-peace-deal-productive#ixzz4TZ83JvUv
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Read full article at telesurtv.net»

By: Prof. Jose Maria Sison | telesurtv.net

Duterte has castigated the U.S. for not apologizing for its murder of 1.4 million Filipinos and for continuing the same aggression in various countries.

A cease-fire agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, GRP, under President Rodrigo Duterte and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, NDFP, led by the Communist Party of the Philippines, CPP, has taken effect on August 26, 2016 since the end of the August 22-26 first round of formal peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP.

Read full article at telesurtv.net»

NDF-NCMR Expresses Openness in Starting Negotiation with Misamis Oriental Local Crisis Committee for the Release of POW Pfc. Lupiba

The National Democratic Front-North Central Mindanao Region (NDF-NCMR) expresses its gratitude to the Local Third Party Facilitators in the region composed of Christian religious leaders as well as the Local Crisis Committee (LCC) of Misamis Oriental for their assistance to the family of Prisoner of War (POW) Pfc. Adonis Jess Lupiba. He still is under custody of a New People’s Army unit since July 11, 2015. We are hopeful their efforts would succeed in securing the necessary conditions to effect the safe and orderly release of the POW.

At present, the ensuing “rescue operations” of the 58th Infantry Battalion and Special Forces Company of their captured trooper further delays his early release. Up to nine rounds of harassment operations were launched by adjoining Sub-regional Commands of the NPA—the Eastern Misamis Oriental-Northeastern Bukidnon (EMONEB) and South-Central Bukidnon (SCB) Sub-Regional Command, against troops of the 403rd Brigade since July 19. Twelve of the latter e killed and scores were wounded as a result.

Last August 12, another seven trooper of the 58th IB were killed and a number suffered wounds in this latest clash between a unit of NPA-EMONEB ug the reactionary soldiers in San Roque, Aposkahoy, Claveria, Misamis Oriental. A Red fighter heroically succumbed to death in here.

Despite the “rescue” operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the concerned custodial unit of the NPA observes the proper rules in combat and the international humanitarian laws regarding the handling og POWs.

Once again, we maintain our openness in negotiating with the Local Crisis Committee which represents the Government of the Philippines in the local level regarding the date and place of the release of Pfc. Lupiba through the Local Third Party Facilitators. The POW’s family can be assured of his early and safe return through the said negotiation between the NDF of the region and the LCC of Misamis Oriental.

Signed,

Cesar Renerio

Spokesperson

NDFP-NCMR

Arrest of NDFP Peace Consultant for Visayas violates JASIG, proof of Aquino II Regime’s disregard for just and lasting peace

[PRESS STATEMENT | August 4, 2015] The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Visayas demands the immediate release of NDFP Peace Consultant for Visayas Maria Concepcion “Concha” Araneta-Bocala, including her two companions. She was illegally arrested in Iloilo City by elements of the Intelligence Section of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group on August 1.

11822371_513581728795884_8146555027697588142_nBocala is under the protection of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) as Peace Consultant. She has been issued Document of Identification No. ND978245 under assumed name Remi Estrella. She has been active in the peace talks with the government since Corazon Aquino’s administration.

The illegal arrest of NDFP consultants is a clear sabotage of the Peace Process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the NDFP. Also, trumped-up charges filed against NDFP consultants leading to illegal arrest and imprisonment disrupt their vital tasks in the peace talks.

The Aquino II Regime must comply with its obligations according to the JASIG and the Comprehensive Agreement of Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. Its continued violation and disrespect of such binding peace agreements is proof of its disregard of the GPH-NDFP Peace Process. It is a clear manifestation of its disinterest in just and lasting peace.

Pax Enguerra
NDFP Visayas Media Liaison

‘Mountain of distrust hampers GRP-NDFP peace talks’

By MACEL INGLES
ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

OSLO – Norwegian Special Envoy to the Philippine peace process Elisabeth Slåttum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said civil society should put pressure on the Philippine government (GRP, Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to return to the negotiating table to address the substantive agenda in the peace process.

In a local peace forum on peace-building in the Philippines held in Oslo last June 5, Slåttum underscored the importance played by civil society, peace NGOs, civic and church organizations in pushing for the historic peace treaty signed in March 2014 between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“(The GRP-NDFP peace talks) is a lonely process and civil society is what we need. There should be a formal mechanism between the (negotiating) table and the ground. This is important to pressure (negotiating) parties to stay on the table and feel ownership of the process,” Slåttum said.

She cited the case of the Colombia peace process where three formal mechanisms were used to include civil society in the process: university-led people’s consultations were held where recommendations on land reform were submitted to the negotiating parties, a website was opened where the public could write their suggestions to the process, and sending of experts to the negotiating table in the Havana talks between the Colombian government and the guerrilla group, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).

“To have a sustainable peace, we need inclusion,” Slåttum further said, but also warned that too much inclusion may also disrupt the process so “balance is needed”.

She also admitted that the peace process involving the GRP and the NDFP has more downs than ups in the last 15 years and has been bogged down by procedural questions such as terrorist listing, ceasefire conditions, and releases of political prisoners.

“On the substantive agenda, things have not progressed (and) that is where we want to have more progress,” she pointed out.

She added the talks have also been hampered by the “mountain of distrust” between the two parties and that this needs to be addressed for the talks to move forward.

However, she expressed optimism that the talks will continue as Norway remains open to exploratory talks with both parties but also is not sure if the country “can get the parties back to the table and make that commitment” to move the process forward at this time.

“We should not lose faith, but it is important to be prepared when the time is right,” she emphasized in the meeting and reminded everyone that “the peace process is a marathon and not a sprint”.

NDFP still open to talks

Meanwhile, NDFP Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison, in an online interview told ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau that the NDFP is still open to exploratory talks with the Philippine government.

“Ang NDFP handa pa rin makipag-usap sa GPH,” Sison wrote to this reporter. He also said that this will be communicated to the Norwegian envoy in a letter to be sent by Louie Jalandoni, head of the NDFP Peace Negotiating Panel.

“(Jalandoni) just recommended to the NDFP National Executive Committee that the exploratory talks be continued in Oslo between the NDFP and GPH teams,” Sison added.

However, he also pointed out that “the filing of charges against Louie and the arrest of [NDFP consultant Adelberto] Silva and others in quick succession are all malicious and vicious and prejudice the continuance of the aforesaid exploratory talks.”

He also warned that “they can push the NDFP National Executive Committee to stop or delay the holding of the exploratory talks. However, Louie and I have not withdrawn our recommendations to let the exploratory talks continues”.

“These talks are still the way to discuss and agree on how to effect truce and cooperation and the compliance with existing agreements, especially JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees) and CARHRIHL (Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law),” Sison added.

“In this regard, the NDFP panel and consultants fully agree with the desire of the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) as third party facilitator that exploratory talks continue. Elisabeth (Slåttum) is doing excellent work in encouraging the NDFP and the GPH to continue the talks,” he further added.

The RNG has served as third party facilitator to the peace talks since 2001. The last formal talks was last held in 2011 where optimism was high after the Philippine government panel chief negotiator announced that a peace pact can be signed within 5 years. Since then, the process had been marred by ceasefire demands from the government panel and the arrests of NDFP consultants.

The NDFP is the umbrella organization of several revolutionary groups in the Philippines including the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). It has been waging an armed communist struggle in the Philippines in the past four decades and is considered to be one of the longest running communist movements in the world.

Stop harassing and threatening Luis Jalandoni, Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel

By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Since the 1990s, Luis Jalandoni the chairperson of the Negotiating Panel  of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines has visited the Philippines a number of times for peace consultations and family visits  under the protection of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) . He  met and conversed with Presidents Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo.

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NDFP Condemns Arrest of NDFP Consultant Adelberto Silva and Companions

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) vigorously condemns the illegal arrest of NDFP Consultant Adelberto Silva on 1 June 2015, in Molina, Bacoor, Cavite. His wife, Rosanna Cabusao, and another companion, Isidro de Lima were also arrested.

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Aquino sabotages and destroys preparations for resumption of formal talks in GPH-NDFP peace negotiations

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

GPH* President Aquino destroys the chances for resumption of peace negotiations between his lameduck administration and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. Aquino’s act of sabotage comes at a time when the NDFP was undertaking steps towards a possible resumption of formal peace talks.

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