LUIS G. JALANDONI
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
By cancelling the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), President Duterte is sabotaging once again not only the peace talks but also an opportunity to achieve a just and lasting peace for the people. The longing of many millions of farmers and fisherfolk for genuine land reform and the entire Filipino people for a just and lasting peace is trampled upon by Duterte.
Negotiators from both sides, bilateral teams on social and economic reforms, worked many hours of intense meetings, to produce the initialled drafts of Agrarian Reform and Rurual Development (ARRD) and National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED), demonstrating significant and unprecedented advances in the peace talks. Release of Political Prisoners and General Amnesty and Coordinated Unilateral Ceasefires were scheduled to be taken up in the Fifth Round of Peace Negotiations scheduled for November 25-27, 2017 in Oslo, Norway. The Norwegian facilitators prepared in detail the visas, return air tickets, hotel accommodations for the next round.
In one stroke, President Duterte has abruptly cancelled the peace talks. He must answer to the Filipino people who long for a just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the armed conflict. He must answer to the millions of farmers and fisherfolk who saw the possibility of free distribution of land with free irrigation, credit and other benefits from genuine land reform. He must answer to workers and the rest of the Filipino people who yearn for national industrialization, national sovereignty, and independent prosperous Philippines.
Acting like a crazed tyrant, he declared the revolutionary national democratic movement cherished by the people all over the country as “terrorist”, in the same manner US imperialists have done. By so doing, he severely underestimates the New People’s Army (NPA), the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the NDFP, which the Marcos dictatorship and other reactionary regimes backed by the US, have failed to defeat in 48 years. Now, he also threatens members of BAYAN and alleged “legal fronts” of the revolutionary movement with illegal arrest and detention.
His wild tryrannical dreams will suffer the same fate of the Marcos dictatorship. The Filipino people and the revolutionary movement will continue to fight for national and social liberation, for a just and lasting peace with genuine land reform, national industrialization, independence, national sovereignty, and economic prosperity.