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Arroyo Regime Kills GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
18 March 2006

Gloria M. Arroyo has the illusion that she can retain political power by drumming up anti-communist hysteria and using brute force against the broad masses of the people and the broad united front of patriotic, progressive and other anti-Arroyo forces. Thus, she has declared all-out war against the Filipino people and the revolutionary forces, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People's Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Together with her Cabinet Oversight Committee-Internal Security (COC-IS), she has undertaken actions to kill the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). The only way these negotiations can be resurrected is for the broad united front and the mass movement to oust the Arroyo regime and install a new government willing to pursue the negotiations.

The Arroyo regime is hell-bent on unleashing the utmost violence to destroy the people's revolutionary movement supposedly before 2010. In a vicious act of treachery, it has converted into a list of persons to be arrested the list of duly-authorized persons (negotiators, consultants, advisers, staffers and the like) endorsed by the NDFP and recognized by the GRP under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

For several years already, the Arroyo regime has in fact committed so many breaches of joint agreements and put up so many obstacles that have totally made impossible the resumption of formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, contrary to the belief spread by the regime and its paid hacks that it was the NDFP that withdrew from the peace negotiations. The aforesaid breaches of agreements and obstacles for which the Arroyo regime is responsible include the following:

1. Since 2001, the Arroyo regime has adopted as policy the US dictate of converting the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations into surrender negotiations, putting aside the framework of addressing the roots of the armed conflict with comprehensive agreements on basic socio-economic and political reforms, as set forth in The Hague Joint Declaration (THJD), and forcing the surrender of the NDFP by using all available means of violence, intimidation and deception. Since after September 11, 2001, the Cabinet Oversight Committee for Internal Security (COC-IS) has been in charge of the policy of state terrorism against the revolutionary people and forces. The policy is in line with the so-called US "war on terror".

2. The Arroyo regime treacherously requested the US government in November 2001 during the Arroyo visit to Washington and reiterated the request in early August 2002 during the Manila visit of US state secretary Colin Powell to put the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant in the so-called terrorist list. The regime openly campaigned for the Council of European Union to do what the US had done. It has neither apologized nor rectified the treachery that it has committed. Instead, without self-respect, it has asserted that the US and other governments have the sovereign power to trample down on the national sovereignty of the Filipino people. The so-called terrorist listing is in gross violation of THJD, JASIG and the CARHRIHL.

3. Since 2001, the Arroyo regime has escalated human rights violations by unleashing campaigns of military suppression against the guerrilla fronts and the kidnapping, torture and assassination of the leaders and members of progressive party list groups and mass organizations, trade unionists, peasant leaders, human rights activists, priests and pastors, journalists and lawyers on a nationwide scale. The national operational plan for all these atrocities is called Bantay Laya. This was officially launched in 2002. It continues to run. The barbarities have called the serious attention of Amnesty International and other international human rights organizations.

4. In 2004 the Arroyo regime stole the amount of ten billion pesos for the indemnification of the nearly 10,000 victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime. It misappropriated the money for electioneering and other corrupt purposes in 2004. Depriving the victims of human rights violations who won their human rights case against Marcos is a gross violation of the CARHRIHL. In this agreement, the GRP and NDFP had solemnly agreed to enable the aforesaid victims to receive what is due them. In the course of peace negotiations, the NDFP had also repeatedly warned the GRP that depriving the victims of justice and indemnification is a casus belli.

5. The Arroyo regime has reneged on its promises in 2001 to release all political prisoners who have been accused of being linked to the NPA but are detained and convicted for common crimes, instead of the political offense of rebellion in accordance with the Hernandez political offense doctrine. In the particular case of the Mamburao peasants, who had been arrested on the trumped-up charge of murder, their release was promised as early as 2001. But despite the false accusation that they acted as members of the NPA, they have been convicted of the common crime of murder and sentenced to death on the basis of false evidence and in violation of CARHRIHL and the Hernandez political offense doctrine.

6. Since 2005, the Arroyo regime has declared the "suspension" of the JASIG and has in fact terminated not only the JASIG but the entire peace negotiations. It has repeatedly ordered the arrest of negotiators, consultants, advisors and other duly-authorized personnel on the side of the NDFP. It has prevented the joint meetings of the Joint Monitoring Committee for the monitoring of the joint and separate implementation of the CARHRIHL by the GRP and NDFP. The NDFP has repeatedly pointed out that the JASIG does not permit its suspension. This agreement can only remain totally valid or terminated by a written notice of one party to the other. The termination of the JASIG means the termination of the peace negotiations, 30 days after the date of the aforesaid written notice.

7. In a GRP high level national security meeting in late 2004 attended by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, national security adviser Norberto Gonzales proposed the assassination of the NDFP chief political consultant. Subsequently, the COC-IS instructed an interagency intelligence staff to prioritize as "high impact projects" the operational plans to assassinate the CPP spokesperson Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal and the NDFP chief political consultant. Surveillance and hit teams for the purpose have been dispatched since several months ago to the Southern Tagalog region and The Netherlands.

8. The Arroyo regime has pretended to lift Proclamation No. 1017. But it continues to carry out repressive measures against the legal opposition parties, progressive mass organizations, mass media and the anti-Arroyo sections of the military and bureaucracy and the broad masses of the people. Ever afraid of the people and the broad united front of patriotic, progressive and other anti-Arroyo forces, the regime is ever ready to use martial law powers under various subterfuges, unleash violence against the people and curtail their democratic rights in order to stay in power.

9. The Arroyo regime is hell-bent on pushing charter change (cha-cha). This is aimed at amending the 1987 constitution in order to prolong the Arroyo rule as a Marcos-type fascist dictatorship under the pretext of transition from presidential to parliamentary form of government. In exchange for US support, the regime is also set to make amendments in order to allow the US and other foreign monopoly firms to have 100 per cent ownership and control of Philippine natural resources, public utilities and all types of businesses, and to let the US military forces have military bases, combat troops and nuclear weapons in Philippine territory. The charter change scheme runs counter to the objective of addressing the roots of the armed conflict through the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

By grievously offending and outraging the broad masses of the people and the broad united front of patriotic, progressive and other anti-Arroyo forces, the Arroyo regime has unwittingly generated a gigantic wave of popular sentiment against it. The broad united front of legal forces has the high potential of rallying the people in their millions on a nationwide scale in order to oust the Arroyo regime in a peaceful and militant way. But the Arroyo regime is escalating repressive measures against the legal democratic movement.

The revolutionary forces and people are therefore intensifying the revolutionary armed struggle. This is gaining strength against the Arroyo regime and the entire ruling system. By escalating state terrorism and killing the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, the Arroyo regime is pushing the people to wage all forms of resistance within their sovereign will and capabilities against oppression and exploitation. ###

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