Interview by Jeffrey Tupas, Davao Correspondent of the Philippne Daily Inquirer
By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
1. Padilla said the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) panel refused to agree to their request for a declaration of ceasefire while the joint monitoring committee is being convened in Manilla. He said it would be ridiculous if the team is convened in Manila while there is a "shooting war."
It was unfortunate, he said, that the NDFP refused to agree to a ceasefire because "ceasefire is always important."
Question is, why did the NDFP turn down the request (if it was even a request in the first place)?
Sison Reply: The repeated request of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) for ceasefire to coincide with every formal meeting at panel and subpanel levels is calculated to undermine the revolutionary will of the people and the revolutionary forces, impose the precondition of pacification and capitulation and avoid addressing the roots of the armed conflict through basic social, economic and political reforms.
If the GPH is in a hurry to end the shooting war, why does it not agree with the proposal of the NDFP for a concise agreement for an immediate just peace, without prejudice to the peace negotiations? The concise agreement is a declaration of principles to establish a common ground and justify an alliance or partnership and truce of indefinite duration in order to complete the people's struggle for national independence, democracy, industrial development and social justice.
2. He said that within three years all the comprehensive agreements are expected to be closed — meaning, signed. With this, he said the NDFP and the CCP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines – New People's Army) must take the three-year target as an opportunity to come to terms with the government for a negotiated settlement. Along this line, he said communism is a dying ideology.
Sison Reply: It is self-contradictory for the GPH to be setting what amounts to an ultimatum while putting up obstacles like attacking The Hague Joint Declaration as a document of perpetual division, preconditioning and negating the peace negotiations with a demand for the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces, and preconditioning every meeting of the panels and subpanels with a ceasefire.
The NDFP is simply aiming for the completion of the bourgeois democratic revolution against foreign and feudal domination in the Philippines. The issue now in the Philippines is neither socialism or communism, even as the people's demands for national liberation, democracy and socialism are resonating throughout the world because of the bankruptcy and depredations of the US-dictated policy of neoliberal or imperialist globalization.
3. He also said that the while it is true that communism cannot be toppled by the government's war policy, the communists cannot also win the war through arm struggle.
JMS Reply: The Communist Party of the Philippines and the NDFP have a realistic program of national democratic revolution. The people's war led by the CPP is growing in strength and advancing precisely because it carries forward such a program and serves the people's demand for national and social liberation.
Why does not the Aquino regime come to terms with the patriotic and progressive demands of the people in order to make a just and lasting peace with the NDFP? The people and revolutionary forces are convinced that if they continue their revolutionary struggle they have a chance of winning the national democratic revolution or making way for an anti-imperialist and democratic government of national unity, reconciliation and industrial development.