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Clear Signals that GRP Is Not Interested
in Peace Negotiations with the NDFP

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
20 July 2007

There are at least four clear signals that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) under Arroyo is not really interested in resuming the formal talks in peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). In fact, the GRP has exposed its bad faith and malicious intent by such signals.

First, the extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, forced displacement of millions of people and other human rights violations by the GRP military, police and death squads continue unabated. The findings and recommendations by the UN special rapporteurs, human rights organizations, churches and the Supreme Court-initiated summit are not dissuading the Arroyo regime from continuing human rights violations. Instead, the GRP is revving up its killing and kidnapping machinery under the license provided by the Anti-Terrorism Act (Human Security Act of 2007). This oppressive law of state terrorism is aimed at killing the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

Second, the GRP has demanded through cabinet members Eduardo Ermita and Norberto Gonzales and AFP chief of staff General Hermogenes Esperon that the NDFP yield to a three-year ceasefire that amounts to the surrender and pacification of the revolutionary forces and people and diverts attention from the urgent necessity of addressing the roots of the armed conflict through social, economic and political reforms. Such a demand for capitulation violates The Hague Joint Declaration and ignores the just and reasonable demand of the NDFP that there be a ceasefire based on certain binding principles stated in its proposal for a concise agreement for immediate just peace.

Third, the GRP continues to spread the lie that the NDFP is demanding that the GRP compel the US and other foreign governments remove the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People's Army (NPA) and the NDFP chief political consultant from the so-called terrorist blacklist. How can a puppet government compel its imperialist masters? All that the NDFP demands as a minimum is for the GRP and NDFP to make a joint statement against the "terrorist" listing of the aforesaid. This is a very small reasonable demand, especially because it was the GRP that had lobbied and continues to lobby with the foreign governments for the blacklisting.

Fourth, the GRP is demanding through pro-Arroyo Rep. Antonio Cuenco that the NDFP chief political consultant go to the Philippines in order to head the negotiations of the NDFP with the GRP in Manila . Such a demand is calculated to destroy the longstanding agreement to hold the peace negotiations in a foreign neutral venue and other agreements embodied in The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees.

It is also calculated to put the NDFP personnel, allies and friends under the deadly pressure of the reactionary armed forces and police and their death squads that with impunity conduct surveillance, kidnappings and assassinations in the Philippines . Rep. Cuenco should be reminded of the killing of NDFP personnel, allies and friends after the breakdown of peace talks in Manila in 1987 and the recent killings and abductions of NDFP consultants under the current Arroyo regime.

In view of the foregoing signals, it is clear that the Arroyo regime is merely pretending to be interested in the resumption of the formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. In the meanest of terms, General Esperon has declared that the regime is merely interested in the destruction and pacification of the revolutionary forces through military force or their pacification under the pressure of military force and systematic human rights violations.

The Arroyo regime has no interest at all in addressing the root causes of the civil war through social, economic and political reforms. Under the circumstances, the revolutionary forces and people cannot slacken their vigilance, resolve and militancy in the struggle for national liberation and democracy. ###

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