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Why No Ceasefire?

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
22 December 2007

It is understandable why there is no ceasefire between the armed forces of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and those of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal, spokesperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), has exposed the fact that the GRP merely wants the New People's Army (NPA) to cease firing while the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the paramilitary forces have all the freedom to attack the people and the revolutionary forces in the name of "peace and order".

The fake president Gloria M. Arroyo continues to rave about destroying the revolutionary movement before 2010 and shows no real remorse for terrorizing and forcibly displacing more than one million people from their homes and land and for causing the extrajudicial killing, abduction and torture of more than a thousand legal activists. The noises that she makes about "ceasefire", "localized peace talks", "amnesty and rehabilitation" are all intended to serve her pipe dream of destroying the revolutionary movement by military force.

The sham proposal of AFP chief of staff General Esperon for a three-year ceasefire is also seen by the NDFP as a cheap psywar trick to tie the hands of the armed revolutionary movement and allow the AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces of the GRP to attack the people and revolutionary forces with impunity.

The Arroyo regime spouts gibberish about "ceasefire" in order to obscure the gross and systematic human rights violations and other impediments to the resumption of formal talks and lay aside the need to address the roots of the civil war with basic social, economic and political reforms through the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

Ceasefire between the GRP and NDFP is possible anytime if the GRP 1) agrees with the NDFP on the ten principles in the proposed concise agreement for an immediate just peace, 2) respects the political authority and territory of the people's democratic government, 3) withdraws AFP troops to divisional headquarters and the PNP mobile brigades to brigade headquarters and dissolves the paramilitary forces, 4) removes the 12 impediments that prevent the resumption of formal talks and 5) agrees with the NDFP to accelerate the peace negotiations in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration.

But the problem with the Arroyo regime is that it is extremely pro-imperialist and ultra-reactionary. It merely wants the people and the revolutionary forces to stop their just resistance and capitulate under the guise of ceasefire. "Localized peace talks" are also intended to fragment the revolutionary movement, collect intelligence and pinpoint the location of NPA units and base areas with the use of concealed GPS gadgets. The scheme of amnesty and rehabilitation is a worn-out trick of high bureaucrats and AFP and PNP officers faking lists of surrenderees and pocketing the money.###

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