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Bush Regime is Sabotaging the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations and Escalating US Military Intervention in Philippines

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

11 August 2004

The Bush regime is sabotaging the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) by having the US State Department and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department renew the listing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA) and the NDFP chief political consultant as "terrorists".

The Bush regime is thereby stirring up the civil war between the GRP and the people’s democratic government (PDG) represented by the NDFP. It is escalating US military intervention in the Philippines in the name of anti-terrorism. This is in line with the US policy of intensifying imperialist plunder and war. US imperialism is thereby proving itself over and over again as the No. 1 terrorist power in the world.

The US government under Bush is unbridled in violating the national sovereignty and jurisdiction of the Filipino people over their internal affairs. It is arrogantly and maliciously intervening in Philippine affairs. It is obviously dictating on the GRP to use the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations for no purpose other than to seek the capitulation or outright destruction of the PDG and the revolutionary mass movement of the Filipino people.

US imperialism is serving notice to the Filipino people that it is hell bent on unleashing the dogs of war against them and that they have no choice but to intensify the revolutionary war for national liberation and democracy. The message is clear: the NDFP can expect nothing from the peace negotiations but constant duress through "terrorist" labeling and military campaigns of suppression. The revolutionary forces and the people cannot expect any basic social, economic and political reforms from these negotiations while the Macapagal-Arroyo regime remains under the thumbs of the US government.

The revolutionary forces and people in the Philippines have far better chances for fighting back than I have. They can aim for big revolutionary victories in the motherland. As an exile, I am vulnerable to all sorts of imperialist attacks and in fact my democratic rights and fundamental freedoms have been flagrantly violated. I have been threatened with US extradition to Guantanamo, preventive detention in a Dutch prison and CIA "wet operations" since 2002. But these do not discourage me from fighting back. I fight by exposing the injustices done to me and calling on the people to support my cause. No matter how much persecution I suffer, I rejoice while the Filipino people win victories in their revolutionary struggle.

Currently, the OFAC of the US Treasury Department has frozen the advance royalty paid to me by my American publisher, Open Hand Publishing LLC, for the publication of the book, Jose Maria Sison: At Home in the World (Portrait of a Revolutionary), Conversations with Ninotchka Rosca. This royalty payment has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. It is paid in accordance with a pre-2002 contract which is perfectly legal. I am now consulting with American lawyers on the matter of my Fifth Amendment right to due process being violated as I am unlawfully deprived of what belongs to me. We recognize the necessity of looking into the factual basis of the "terrorist" labeling under the Freedom of Information Act.

I am also consulting with my publisher on the matter of his democratic right as well as the rights of the co-authors, Ms Rosca and myself, under the First Amendment (freedom of speech) being put at risk or being outrightly violated. I have heard some comments that the publisher, my co-author and everyone else involved in the distribution of the book are liable for aiding and abetting "terrorism" under the draconian terms of Bush and Ashcroft. There are in fact direct and indirect attempts to ban the book or discourage people from buying it. Our American lawyers have some work to do against the ulra-reactionaries now riding roughshod over the people.

Back to the question of GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. As chief political consultant of the NDFP, I have advised the NDFP negotiating panel to postpone the next round of formal talks slated to begin on August 24 in Oslo, Norway until such time that the GRP can fulfill its obligations under the Oslo I and Oslo II Statements of February 14 and April 3, 2004.

These obligations include the following: adoption and implementation of effective measures to remove the names of the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant from the "terrorist" list of the US government, the release of political prisoners who have been unjustly imprisoned on false charges and in violation of the Hernandez political offense doctrine and the prompt indemnification of the victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime who won their case in the US federal court .

The formal talks of the GRP and NDFP negotiations should be postponed so that the GRP would have the chance to fulfill its obligations. As the GRP continues to fail in fulfilling its obligations, the NDFP consolidates its just and reasonable grounds to move forward from postponement to suspension of the talks and ultimately to the termination of the peace negotiations.

The NDFP is desirous of encouraging the GRP to veer away from its total puppetry to US imperialism. But if the GRP refuses to come to terms with the NDFP on such fundamental issues as genuine national independence, democracy, social justice and basic reforms, then there is really no basis for continuing the peace negotiations.

At this very moment, the GRP is once again demonstrating complete lack of shame by allowing the US government to transgress the solemn agreements of the GRP and NDFP. The Hague Joint Declaration upholds the mutually acceptable principle of national sovereignty and jurisdiction of the Filipino people over events in the Philippines. The Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees protects all those duly-authorized in the peace negotiations. The Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law guarantees the democratic rights of all Filipinos and upholds the Hernandez political offense doctrine.

As both the US government and the puppet Macapagal-Arroyo regime continue to oppress and exploit them, the Filipino people and revolutionary forces have no choice but to pursue ever more resolutely and militantly their revolutionary struggle for national liberation and democracy. They suffer terribly from the worsening crisis of the world capitalist system as well as that of the domestic ruling system. It is their duty to fight back and liberate themselves from US imperialism and its die-hard puppets.###

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