By Marvin Benaning
05 May 2013
THE National Democratic Front (NDF) has practically tagged as a bunch of liars three Aquino officials who claimed that the government had terminated the formal peace talks because the NDF “killed” the special track of the negotiations.
In clarifying what had happened, NDF negotiating panel Chairman Luis G. Jalandoni referred to the minutes the meeting between the NDF and the government panel held in Amsterdam from February 25 to 26.
The documentary record does not support the contention of Presidential Assistant for the Peace Process Teresita Deles, government Panel Chairman Alexander Padilla and GPHL Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda that the talks had been scuttled.
“In the morning of February 26, there was a discussion of the inputs by the government representatives coming from their February 20, 2013, draft. This draft insisted on indefinite, simultaneous and unilateral cease-fires. It also declared that land reform and national industrialization were ‘ideologically charged’ concepts. After that discussion, the government representatives abruptly left the meeting room,” Jalandoni said.
“Immediately, the Royal Norwegian facilitator, Ambassador Ture Lundh, called for a sidebar meeting between him, Secretary Ronald Llamas and Prof. Jose Maria Sison. Ambassador Ture Lundh asked both delegations to reconvene. Professor Sison said the NDF side would probably agree to reconvene if they would be able to present the NDF Draft Agreement to Formulate the General Declaration,” Jalandoni added.
“However, Secretary Ronald Llamas said he wanted to consult his principal. When Ambassador Lundh said he also wanted to consult his principal, Professor Sison had to agree. He then gave copies to Llamas and Ture Lundh of the above-mentioned NDF draft and the NDF Initial and Partial Draft General Declaration on National Unity and Just Peace, both dated February 26, 2013,” Jalandoni also said.
Observers close to the peace talks said Llamas did not have any mandate to cut whatever accord he wanted to cement and noted that his interest was focused only in getting the NDF to agree to a prolonged cease-fire without tackling the roots of the insurgency.
Moreover, Llamas wanted Sison to meet Mr. Aquino in Hanoi in a repeat of the meeting between him and a senior leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Tokyo to seal an agreement for the new political entity in Mindanao.
“To sweeten the offer, Llamas even went to the extent of having NDF peace consultant Alan Jazmines witness the Hanoi meeting.
“However, nothing was firmed up since Llamas had no authority whatsoever to sign anything and promise anything.
“There was absolutely no talk about termination of the peace talks. Nor was there talk of the special track being killed,” Jalandoni clarified.
“Lacierda’s insistence that the NDF has been informed of the termination of the peace talks is contradicted by the facts,” he noted.
“He exposes his ignorance of the provision of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, which stipulates that a written notice of termination must be given,” Jalandoni clarified.
“No such notice of termination has been given to the NDF, which is the proper addressee of such notice of termination,” he concluded.