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ARROYO REGIME RENDERS IMPOSSIBLE
FORMAL TALKS BETWEEN GRP AND MILF


By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
21 August 2008

Contrary to the propaganda issued by the psywar experts of the Arroyo regime, I am not in any position to issue orders to the New People's Army (NPA) to undertake tactical offensives in sympathy with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). My role as NDFP chief political consultant is assisting peace negotiations and not issuing military orders to the NPA.

In a recent interview, I merely commented as follows: that there is a longstanding alliance between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the MILF and that the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and command of the NPA which are both based in Philippines have issued declarations (through www.philippinerevolution.net) that NPA tactical offensives are in the interest of the Filipino people and are also in sympathy with the Moro people and MILF who are under attack by the armed forces of the GRP.

It is the Arroyo regime that is accountable for the escalation of the armed conflict in Mindanao and in the entire Philippines. It agreed with the MILF to formally sign the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in Malaysia on August 5. But long before the Supreme Court issued the temporary restraining order, the regime all along had the malicious intent of withdrawing from the scheduled signing and had already mobilized and deployed military forces for large-scale offensives against the MILF.

The Arroyo regime's multiple acts of betraying the MILF have rendered impossible the opening of formal talks of the GRP and MILF. By announcing that it wants to review, further negotiate and revise the MOA-AD, the Arroyo regime veritably tells the MILF to bend and break by giving up what it has gained on paper through many years of informal talks and indefinite ceasefire. The clear message of the regime to the MILF is to keep the ceasefire and never to expect the signing of the MOA-AD.

The regime is using against the MILF the same stratagem (devised by Arroyo, General Ermita and NSA Gonzales) that it is trying to use against the NDFP. The GRP negotiating panel agrees to a draft and then freezes it with demands for revision, while requiring the MILF to submit to informal talks and prolonged ceasefire or, in the case of the NDFP, while pressuring it to submit to indefinite ceasefire that lays aside the substantive agenda and amounts to capitulation and pacification.

Apparently, by pretending for a while to be for MOA-AD and then backing out, the Arroyo regime has calculated that it shall have inflamed the armed conflict in Mindanao to the point of justifying martial law and charter change in a bid to prolong itself in power. Blinded by hubris, the regime misses the fact that it is besieged by a severe economic and financial crisis, that the MILF can fight back effectively within its own territory and that it is self-defeating for the regime to fight on two war fronts, one against the MILF in Mindanao and another against the NDFP in the entire country.

The reactionary armed forces have been overstretched and fatigued by so many years of Oplan Bantay Laya. In recent months, even former GRP president Fidel V. Ramos has observed this fact. The concurrent military offensives of the the Bangsamoro Islamic Liberation Army (BILA) and the New People's Army have the potential of breaking the backbone of the reactionary armed forces and encouraging the reasonable elements therein to support the ouster of the fake president and serious negotiations with the MILF and NDFP. ###

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