By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
28 August 2005
The time study made by the Philippine Peace Center shows clearly that since 1992 the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) has been responsible for so many delays, due to declarations of termination, collapse and indefinite suspension, in previous periods of preliminary talks (1992-1995) and formal talks (from 1995 onwards) in the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (GRP).
The GRP has deliberately caused the delays in the peace negotiations in the futile attempt to blame the NDFP in the conservative mass media for protracting the peace negotiations and to push and rush the NDFP towards outright surrender in exchange for empty generalities about reforms or towards a prolonged ceasefire that is calculated to prevent the systematic negotiation of economic, social and political reforms to address the roots of the civil war between the GRP and NDFP.
Now that the NDFP National Council has put forward the proposal of the 10-point Concise Agreement for Immediate Just Peace, the NDFP Negotiating Panel can press the GRP for an immediate just peace and thwart every demagogic attempt of the GRP to misrepresent itself as the one interested in peace. It can easily expose the GRP as ludicrously demanding the immediate surrender of the forces of the NDFP or angling for a prolonged ceasefire that is calculated to put aside the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations.
The GRP should accept the concise peace agreement proposed by the NDFP. The ten points therein embody the urgent patriotic and progressive demands of the Filipino people. The GRP exposes its extremely pro-imperialist and reactionary character by turning down this NDFP proposal. Should the GRP refuse to accept the proposal, it becomes more clear than ever that The Hague Joint Declaration is the steady framework for necessarily thorough and extended peace negotiations.
It is the firm position of the NDFP that the peace negotiations with the GRP are for addressing the root causes of the civil war through economic, social and political reforms and thereby laying the basis for a just and lasting peace. Thus, it has rigorously adhered to the substantive agenda set forth by The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees.
Upon the intercession of the Norwegian government as third party facilitator, the NDFP has shown willingness to resume the formal talks in the peace negotiations if only to demonstrate that it has never withdrawn from the peace negotiations and has merely postponed the formal meetings of the negotiating panels in order to allow the GRP as much time as it needs to answer satisfactorily the prejudicial questions arising from the “terrorist listing” by the US and other governments.
The GRP must answer these prejudicial questions satisfactorily. Otherwise it remains impossible to resume the formal talks of the peace negotiations. The NDFP has shown preparedness to act in any necessary and appropriate way in response to the actions of the GRP. The NDFP National Executive Committee has informed the NDFP Negotiating Panel that the revolutionary forces of the people are ready to fight tit for tat and counteract the further escalation of human rights violations in connection with the GRP’s invalid suspension but actual termination of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees.
The broad masses of the Filipino people and the NDFP are well aware of the Arroyo regime’s continuing problems of isolation, weakness and instability. The regime is afflicted by a crisis of survival because of its wrong and harmful policies and the worsening crisis of the imperialist-dominated ruling system of big compradors and landlords. Thus, the people and the revolutionary forces of the NDFP are eager to undertake all forms of struggle to advance the new democratic revolution.###