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NDFP Must Converse With Opposition Forces Concerning Peace Negotiations

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
30 June 2006

The Arroyo regime has repeatedly made the categorical declaration that it has shut the door to the resumption of formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and is only interested in carrying out its all-out war policy and pursuing surrender talks with local groups which they expect in vain to draw away from the centralized leadership of the armed revolutionary movement.

The Arroyo regime has maliciously violated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) by fabricating charges against the NDFP negotiators, consultants, advisers and staffers, putting them in the order of battle of the reactionary armed forces, threatening them with abduction, torture and death and actually subjecting them to extrajudicial killing, forced disappearance and indefinite detention.

Those threatened with abduction, torture and assassination are this chief political consultant and the senior legal adviser Justice Romeo T. Capulong. Consultant on socio-economic reforms Sotero Llamas was murdered very recently. Regional consultant Rogelio Calubad and his son were tortured and abducted also recently. Regional consultants Edgardo Sacamay, Angelina Ipong and Eduardo Serrano are detained indefinitely.

It is appropriate and necessary in the highest interest of the Filipino people that the NDFP engage opposition forces and leaders in conversations regarding the resumption of the formal talks in anticipation of the end of the Arroyo regime. In this context, the NDFP Negotiating Panel conversed recently with a prominent member of the Philippine senate from the opposition.

Conversations with opposition forces in the broad united front against the Arroyo regime can clarify what are the obstacles to the peace negotiations and what can be done to clear the way for resuming the formal talks. The NDFP and the opposition forces can explore the ways for accelerating the peace negotiations towards a just and lasting peace.

Through serious consultations and work meetings, they can go as far as preparing the drafts of the comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms and on political and constitutional reforms. Thus, it shall be easier and faster to finalize these after the Arroyo regime comes to an end.

It is also possible to agree on a concise agreement for an immediate just peace in order to lay the basis for an anti-imperialist and democratic alliance and government and for a truce between the GRP and NDFP that becomes effective while more detailed comprehensive agreements are still being negotiated.

The Arroyo regime is bound to end in any of the following ways:

1. The broad united front of organized forces and the broad masses of the people succeed in ousting Arroyo before the end of February 2007.
2. The 2007 elections take place and enable the opposition parties to win enough seats to impeach Arroyo in the Lower House of Congress and to subject her to a trial in the Senate.
3. The Arroyo regime cheats again in the 2007 elections to preempt impeachment and Senate trial, and the broad masses of the people rise up to oust the regime.
4. The charter-change scheme of the regime does away with the 2007 elections and incites the people to oust the regime before 2010.
5. Arroyo manages to stay in power up to 2010 but the opposition parties win the presidential elections amidst the far worsened crisis of the ruling system and the greatly increased strength of the armed revolutionary movement.

Since its actual beginning in 2001 and formal launching in early 2002, Oplan Bantay Laya has gone from one stage of failure and defeat to another stage. The military and police campaigns of suppression against the working people and the cowardly killings and kidnappings of legal activists have merely served to incite the broad masses of the people to wage all forms of struggle. Under the present circumstances, the revolutionary forces and people are rapidly growing in strength and advancing. ###

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