Interview by Diana Lhyd Suelto
Mindanao Daily Mirror
By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
Earlier in a press conference Alexander Padilla, GRP chief negotiator, raised some points regarding the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). I would like to get your comment.
1. The NDF refused to agree to a ceasefire while the joint monitoring committee is being convened in Manila.
Sison Reply: The NDFP does not agree with the GPH (Government of the Philippines) in preconditioning with ceasefire every formal meeting of the GPH and NDFP negotiating panels, and even of the committees at the subpanel level, because the repeated ceasefires seek to undermine the revolutionary will of the people and the revolutionary forces, impose capitulation and pacification on the NDFP, and lay aside the need to address the roots of the armed conflict through basic social, economic and political reforms.
2. While the insurgency cannot be won by armed might, the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army, and National Democratic Front of the Philippines) cannot win by armed struggle.
Sison Reply: The revolutionary forces of the CPP, NPA and NDFP are in fact growing in strength and advancing. They are now in the process of advancing from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate within the next five years. Thus, there is an urgent need for the GPH to negotiate with the NDFP and forge agreements to address the roots of the armed conflict with basic reforms. The peace negotiations can be aimed at achieving national unity and reconciliation in order to complete the struggle of the people for national independence, democracy, industrial development and social justice.
3. Communism is a dead ideology so now is the best time for the NDF to negotiate.
Sison Reply: The NDFP and the Filipino people are fighting for the completion of the national democratic revolution started by Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan. The issue now in the Philippines is neither socialism nor communism. However, communism is not a dead ideology. The epochal struggle between the working class and the bourgeoisie is continuing. The proletariat and people are interested in the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism because of the rapacity of monopoly capitalism and bankruptcy of the neoliberal globalization.
4. That the peace treaty will be signed in three years.
Sison Reply: A time allowance of three years for serious and sustained peace negotiations is reasonable. In the meantime, the Aquino regime can opt to agree with the NDFP proposal of a concise agreement for an immediate just peace. The agreement carries a declaration of common principles and policies to enable the GPH and NDFP to come to an alliance and truce of indefinite duration, without prejudice to the ongoing peace negotiations. The common principles and policies refer to asserting national independence, expanding democracy, undertaking land reform and industrial development, realizing social justice and developing international relations for peace and development.