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NDFP CAN NEGOTIATE WITH THE GRP
WHOEVER IS THE PRESIDENT
By Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
23 June 2004

It is fine that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has dispatched the Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) to hold formal talks with the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Oslo.

It is the consistent policy of the NDFP to negotiate with the GRP whoever is the president by virtue of the political processes of the GRP. This is normal diplomatic practice. It holds true now as well as in the next round of formal talks which is slated for August.

So far, Macapagal-Arroyo has formally emerged as the newly-elected GRP president from the GRP political processes that have followed the May 10 elections. The NDFP Negotiating Panel will continue to negotiate in earnest with the GRP Negotiating Panel whoever is the effective principal of the latter.

It is noteworthy that in recent months the GRP under the direction of President Macapagal-Arroyo has shown determination to cooperate with the NDFP in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement for Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and in pursuing negotiations on social and economic reforms.

The Oslo Joint Statements I and II of February 14 and April 3, 2004 respectively carry important mutual agreements concerning the deletion of the names of the CPP/NPA and the NDFP consultant from the "terrorist" list of US and other foreign governments, the acceleration of the peace negotiations, the release of political prisoners and the indemnification of the victims of human rights violations.

In getting a fresh mandate from the GRP political system, Macapagal-Arroyo should seriously pursue peace negotiations by way of seeking national unity, coping with the crisis and responding to the people’s demands for major social reforms.#



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