By CPP Information Bureau
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today reiterated its warning to the Aquino government against using the "immediate ceasefire" line as the premise for the resumption of formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The CPP has reiterated its readiness to immediately resume the long-suspended formal peace negotiations based on previously agreed principles and agenda and without any preconditions.
The CPP challenged Aquino to "immediately commence negotiations and abide by previous agreements," including The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 which sets the framework, principles, agenda and sequence of the peace negotiations.
The CPP urged Aquino to "clear all hurdles to the resumption of formal negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP in accordance with previous agreements and let the matter of ceasefire fall in its proper place–that is, in the process of solid gains in agreements in the remaining substantive agenda."
"For the armed revolutionary forces, engaging in peace talks while their weapons are tied up, is violative of revolutionary principles and virtually holds us hostage," the CPP pointed out. "It would be foolish for us to expect to talk on fair and equal terms regarding life-and-death questions with the other side, when we have our arms dropped while the forces on other side have the barrels of their guns pointed at our heads."
The CPP also added that "Aquino should know better than to insist on peace negotiations premised on a ceasefire agreement which was proven unsuccessful during the term of his mother as president."
"The three-month ceasefire in late 1986 to early 1987 did not result in any fruitful agreement in terms of addressing the roots of the armed conflict. Worse, it was used by the first US-Aquino regime to induce inertia among the revolutionary armed forces, and for the puppet reactionary armed forces and intelligence agents to freely enter and intensify surveillance in revolutionary areas."
The CPP pointed out that it was only after the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) under Ramos agreed to throw away the earlier premise of tying the talks to an immediate and prolonged ceasefire agreement did the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations become fruitful in terms of forging important agreements.
In that period, said the CPP, aside from The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 which set forth the framework, principles and sequence of peace negotiations, other important agreements mutually signed by the NDFP and GRP include the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed in 1995 and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed in 1998.
"If Aquino insists on having peace talks premised on an immediate ceasefire, he will be reducing his peace declarations to empty rhetoric," pointed out the CPP.
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