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By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
15 November 2008

Gloria M. Arroyo through her executive secretary Eduardo Ermita has bitterly attacked the joint statement of Senator M. A. Madrigal, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, and Luis Jalandoni, chairperson of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The attack is utterly malicious and deplorable.

The overriding purpose of the joint statement is to call for the resumption of formal talks in the peace negotiations of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements, from The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 to the Oslo Statements I and II of 2004.

The joint statement sets no precondition whatsoever for the resumption of formal talks. In so many points, it simply calls for compliance with the existing bilateral agreements. It takes a position quite similar to that taken by the Philippine Ecumenical Platform for Peace (PEPP) headed by Archbishop Antonio Ledesma .

Even the call for the replacement of General Esperon as presidential adviser on the peace process is addressed to the de facto president Gloria M. Arroyo and implies her prerogative to appoint or replace her own personnel. Being part of the GRP as senator and as chairperson of the Senate Committee on peace, unification and reconciliation, Madrigal has also the prerogative to make demands on Arroyo. It is along this line that Jalandoni expresses agreement with the good senator.

By its hostile reaction to the Madrigal-Jalandoni joint statement, the Arroyo regime exposes its lack of desire for the immediate resumption of formal talks in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements. The regime wants to scrap and lay aside these agreements and replace the substantive peace negotiations on social, economic and political reforms with ceasefire negotiations concurrent with the gross and systematic violations of human rights, the faking of localized peace negotiations and real racketeering on ghost amnesty beneficiaries.

In the meantime, the Arroyo regime is becoming more and more desperate as the financial, economic and political crisis of the imperialist system and the Philippine puppet system is rapidly worsening. The Filipino people are urging the GRP and NDFP to resume the formal talks and reach the goal of a just and lasting peace and national unity to confront the grave social ills afflicting the country. At the same time, the people remind everyone that they and their revolutionary forces are fighting the oppressive and exploitative system on clearly just and reasonable grounds and under favorable conditions for the advance of the revolution. ###

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