People’s war in the Philippines, peace negotiations & “terrorist” listing

 By Professor Jose Maria Sison

Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Lecture at the University of Groningen, 16 May 2013

First of all, I wish to thank the Studentenvereniging voor
Internationale Betrekkingen (SIB), or the Dutch United Nations Student
Association (DUNSA), for inviting me to lecture on the revolutionary
armed struggle being carried out by the New People’s Army (NPA) under
the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

I am honored and privileged to be invited because your association has
high prestige and is well known to feature as guest lecturers high
officials of the United Nations, the European Union and the
Netherlands, including prime ministers, cabinet officials, members of
parliaments, senior administrators, high military commanders,
outstanding professors and journalists.

I propose to discuss tonight the character and status of the people’s
war in the Philippines, in relation to the social crisis and the
policies of the Manila government, also in relation to the long running
peace negotiations between the Manila government and the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and further in relation to
the issue of including the CPP, NPA and the chief political consultant
of the NDFP (myself) in the so-called terrorist list of the EU.

Character of the People’s War

Since its founding on 26 December 1968, the Communist Party of the
Philippines has analyzed Philippine society and described it as
semicolonial and semifeudal. The US formally ended its colonial rule
over the Philippines and granted it nominal independence in 1946.
However, it has retained indirect rule through the subservient local
ruling classes of big compradors and landlords. These two classes have
maintained the semifeudal, agrarian and underdeveloped character of the
Philippine social economy.

In confronting the ruling system of big compradors and landlords under
US monopoly capitalism, the CPP has put forward a Program of People’s
Democratic Revolution. The principal aims of this program are the
following: to struggle for full national independence, to empower the
working people, to realize democracy both in the sense of upholding
civil and political rights and liberating the peasantry from feudal
and semi-feudal captivity, to promote a national, scientific and mass
culture and to foster international solidarity and world peace against
imperialism.

The motive forces of the revolution are the working class, the
peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie. The
leading class is the working class through the CPP as its advanced
detachment. The main force is the peasantry which is the majority
class. The urban petty bourgeoisie is still a revolutionary class but
no longer the leading class, in the shift from the global era of
bourgeois-democratic revolution to that of modern imperialism and
proletarian revolution. Even as it has a reactionary fear of the
masses, the middle bourgeoisie is a positive patriotic force at best
interested in national independence and economic development.

It is the position of the CPP that the exploiting classes of big
compradors and landlords, as already proven in Philippine history, will
never give up their power and wealth voluntarily. With US military
support, they use their state power (army, police, prisons, courts,
legislature and bureaucracy) to suppress the people’s national and
democratic demands.

Thus, the CPP has set the line of achieving the people’s democratic
revolution through the politico-military strategic line of protracted
people’s war. This line entails developing in stages the people’s army
and other revolutionary forces in the countryside over a long period of
time in order to accumulate armed and political strength until they gain
the capability to launch a nationwide general offensive and completely
seize political power from the reactionary ruling classes.

For this purpose, the CPP has deployed its cadres in the countryside
since early 1969 in order to build the New People’s Army (NPA) and the
peasant movement, to carry out the revolutionary armed struggle and
genuine land reform; and develop the mass base by organizing all
possible forms of voluntary people’s association (for workers,
peasants, women, youth, cultural activists, children, and so on),
building the local CPP branches and establishing organs of political
power in order to replace the political instruments of the exploiting
classes.

The countryside offers the wide ground and rough terrain for the NPA to
maneuver against the superior armed strength of the enemy and grow in
stages by adopting the policy of strategic defense while carrying out
tactical offensives against the forces of the enemy that are on the
strategic offensive. The enemy forces are strategically superior to the
NPA, at the ratio of 10 to 1, but through tactical offensives the NPA
can gain superiority over the enemy forces, at the ratio of 10 to 1.
Concentrated units of the NPA can pick the specific time and place to
wipe out by surprise a specific part of the enemy force.

At the present stage, the NPA is waging intensive and extensive
guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass
base. It uses the strategy and tactics of concentration, dispersal and
shifting, as the need arises for achieving certain objectives. It
concentrates a superior amount of force to wipe out an enemy unit. It
wages only the battles that it can win. It disperses its units to
conduct mass work and create more fighting units. It shifts its forces
whenever it needs to evade a superior enemy force and gain a more
advantageous position. It trades space for time and avoids battles that
it cannot win. Most important of all, it enjoys the inexhaustible
support of the masses and thus succeeds in keeping the enemy blind and
deaf.

The CPP and the NPA envision a probability course of developing the
people’s war in three strategic stages. At the first stage, the NPA is
on the strategic defensive as the enemy is on the strategic offensive.
At the second, the two warring armies are in a state of relative
equilibrium and are in the strategic stalemate.At the third, the NPA is
on the strategic offensive and the enemy is on the strategic defensive.
The NPA accumulates strength as it wins battles and weakens the enemy
forces and achieves the shift in the strategic balance of forces; and
advance from one stage to another by launching the tactical offensives
by guerrilla forces and eventually by regular mobile forces.

The people’s democratic revolution is basically completed upon the
nationwide seizure of political power. The socialist revolution
immediately starts, with the working class through its advance
detachment continuing to lead the Philippine revolution, with the
people’s army as the main component of state power and with the
commanding heights of the economy nationalized, even as transitory
bourgeois democratic reforms are carried out in harmony with the main
process of socializing the ownership of the industrial means of
production and realizing agricultural cooperation and mechanization.

Status of the People’s War

On the basis of reports published by the CPP and NPA (which you may
check from http://www.philippinerevolution.net), we can inform ourselves on the
status of the people’s war or strength of the NPA in terms of armed
struggle, land reform and mass base building. We can also inform
ourselves about the plan of the CPP and NPA to advance from the stage of
strategic defensive to that of strategic stalemate by fulfilling both
the political and military requirements.

The NPA is now operating in more than 110 guerrilla fronts, each with a
total force ranging in size from an over-sized platoon to a company and
with a territory roughly equivalent to a congressional district of at
least five municipalities. The guerrilla fronts cover substantial parts
of 70 provinces out of the total 81 Philippine provinces. The number of
full-time Red fighters with high-powered rifles is moving towards the
level of 10,000. They are also augmented by tens of thousands of
volunteers in the people’s militia and in the hundreds of thousands of
self-defense units of the mass organizations in the countryside.

The psywar experts of the reactionary government and its military are
engaged in deception when they claim that the NPA had 25,000 Red
fighters in the mid-1980s but now has only 4000 to 5000. The 1985
Plenum of the CC of the CPP assessed the NPA strength at 5,600 Red
fighters with high-powered rifles. This rose to 6100 Red fighters in
1986. The people’s militia and self-defense units were not as well
organized and well-trained as now. The NPA was undermined by grave Left
opportunist errors, which would become the target of the Second Great
Rectification Movement launched by the CPP in 1992.

The CPP, NPA and the peasant movement have carried out on a wide scale
the minimum land reform program, involving the reduction of land rent,
elimination of usury or excessive interest rates, raising the wages of
farm workers, improving the prices of farm products and promoting
agricultural production and sideline occupations through rudimentary
cooperation. The maximum land reform program of confiscating and
equitably distributing the land to the tillers for free is being
carried out at an accelerated pace over more areas, depending on the
strength and capability of the NPA and mass base.

To make more land available for land reform and to save the environment,
the NPA is dismantling enterprises owned by foreign corporations and
bureaucrat comprador-landlords, especially those that have grabbed the
land from the peasants and indigenous peoples. These are
export-oriented enterprises, including mining, logging and plantations.
The NPA also takes action against biofuel production enterprises that
take away land from food production; against expansive tourist
facilities and against sheer real estate speculation.

The mass base of the CPP, NPA and other revolutionary forces runs into
millions of people. It has been realized by building the mass
organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth, cultural activists and
children, the organs of political power from the village level to higher
levels and the local Party branches. The organs of political power are
led by the CPP and are assisted by working committees and by the mass
organizations. Programs and mass campaigns are undertaken to promote
mass organizing, mass education, land reform, production, disaster
relief and rehabilitation, health care, local security and self-defense,
settlement of disputes and cultural activities.

The revolutionary forces and people have attained such strength that
they are aiming to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic
stalemate and are working hard to fulfill the political and military
requirements. The CPP membership is now beyond 100,000 and is expanding
towards the goal of 250,000 in both urban and rural areas. The CPP is
developing more Party cadres in the course of mass work and expanding
Party membership. The NPA seeks to increase its Red fighters to 25,000
and its guerrilla fronts to 180. The organs of political power and the
mass organizations are strengthening themselves and seek to cover more
people by the millions through direct organizing and by united front work.

The ruling system in the Philippines is extremely outdated and is in
chronic crisis, despite the urban gloss effected by neoliberal economic
policy through conspicuous consumption, luxury imports and high rise
buildings financed by foreign borrowing and remittances of overseas
contract workers. The chronic crisis of the domestic ruling system is
now exacerbated by the bankruptcy of the neoliberal policy regime and
the ever worsening crisis of global capitalism.

The ruling system has perpetuated feudal and semifeudal exploitation and
prevented genuine land reform and national industrialization. It is
tied to the production of raw materials and semi-manufactures. Thus it
suffers chronic trade and budgetary deficits. It is sinking in a morass
of public debt due to excessive local and foreign borrowing. The
remittances of overseas contract workers are used to fund consumption
spending and luxury imports by the exploiting classes. They are bound
to decrease as the export of cheap labor is being countered by political
turmoil in the Middle East and deepening recession in the imperialist
countries.

In the wake of the worsening economic and financial crisis, the Aquino
regime is being assisted by US agencies and public relations firms in
touting itself as the “new tiger” in East Asia. It misrepresents as
healthy economic growth the inflow of “hot money” or portfolio
investments in the stock market. Manufacturing and agriculture have
declined. The reassembly and reexport of electronic goods have
plummeted since 2008. Business call centers, private construction and
mining are the favored enterprises. The regime shuns Filipino-owned
industrial development.

The broad masses of the people are made to suffer an ever rising rate of
unemployment, reduced incomes, soaring prices of basic goods and
services and deterioration of the social infrastructure. The so-called
anti-poverty programs of doleouts like the Consditional Cash Transfer
and PAMANA have become devices of bureaucratic and military corruption
and vote-buying in elections. Social discontent is widespread and
sharpening among the toiling masses of workers and peasants and even
among the middle social strata.

The false statistics of economic progress and rigged poll survey results
of mass satisfaction are the object of public derision and contempt for
the current regime and the ruling system. The recently-held elections
are a brazen process of excluding patriotic and progressive leaders of
the toiling masses and favoring clans and dynasties of big compradors
and landlords. The economic and social crisis is generating conditions
favorable to the people’s war.

The US-directed Aquino regime is aptly described by the CPP as a fanatic
of neoliberalism. It has no social conscience and is anti-worker and
anti-peasant. It does not offer any solution to the basic social and
economic problems, now being rapidly aggravated by the crisis. It is
obsessed with assuring the foreign banks and corporations and the local
big compradors with the opportunities to make superprofits.

It overestimates its ability to use the bureaucracy, the military, the
reactionary mass media and the imperialist -funded NGOs to obfuscate the
raging social issues. It is preoccupied with seeking political monopoly
by mass deception and electoral manipulation and using military force
under the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan to suppress the revolutionary
movement of the people. Of recent, it has announced in the mass media
the end of the peace negotiations with the NDFP, without giving the
latter any formal notice of termination.

GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations

Despite the determination of the revolutionary forces and the people to
carry out the people’s democratic revolution through people’s war, they
are open to the possibility of resolving the armed conflict through
peace negotiations. The Central Committee of the CPP and National
Council of the NDFP have created and authorized the NDFP Negotiating
Panel to negotiate with the panel representing Government of the
Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in the time of the Ramos regime and
thereafter.

The NDFP carries forward the general line of struggle for national
independence and democracy through the peace negotiations. It is the
same line carried forward by the revolutionary forces and people in the
course of armed revolution. It offers to the current enemy government
the opportunity to change course and forge a truce and alliance with the
NDFP for the purpose of confronting US imperialism and the worst of
reactionaries and solving the basic problems of the people.

The GRP can only discredit itself by refusing to address the roots of
the civil war and to enter into agreements on basic social, economic
and political reforms. By persevering in the general line of people’s
democratic revolution through protracted people’s war, the revolutionary
forces and the people prevent the GRP from prettifying itself, from
using the peace negotiations to confuse their ranks and from obtaining
their capitulation and pacification.

In engaging in peace negotiations, the NDFP is guided by the fact that
the revolutionary forces and people have a democratic government of
their own in the form of the local organs of political power under the
leadership of the CPP as the ruling party and such a government governs
a population that runs into millions. It has a disciplined people’s
army under an effective national command and a territory of over 100,000
square kilometers or 30 per cent of total Philippine territory. In fact,
the CPP cadres and NPA fighters can move freely in more than 90 per
cent of this national territory.

Under international law, the people’s democratic government of workers
and peasants and the reactionary government of the big compradors and
landlords are co-belligerents in a civil war, with US military and other
forms of intervention on the side of the reactionary government. To
assert the existence and integrity of the revolutionary government, the
NDFP promulgated on July 5, 1996 its Unilateral Declaration of
Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I of
1977 and deposited this on July 6, 1996 with the Swiss Federal Council.

It has manifested its determination to wage people’s war under
international law and to negotiate peace under the same. In fact, the
GRP and NDFP have succeeded in forging the Comprehensive Agreement on
Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)
of 1998 under the principles and standards of the International Bill of
Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the UN Convention on Civil and
Political Rights, and so on) and the International Humanitarian Law (the
Geneva Conventions and related conventions).

In 1986, soon after the fall of the fascist dictator Marcos, the GRP
and NDFP agreed to hold ceasefire talks in Manila and to forge a
60-day ceasefire agreement which would lead to a further agreement on
the substantive agenda of peace negotiations. The ceasefire agreement,
which was mutually signed in November 1986, was broken by the massacre
of peasant demonstrators and their urban supporters by presidential
guards in front of the presidential palace on January 22, 1987. GRP
President Aquino protected the officers responsible for the massacre..
On March 25, 1987, she formally “unsheathed the sword of war” against
the revolutionary forces and people and ordered a vicious campaign of
military suppression called Lambat Bitag.

But in 1989 she became worried about the consequences of natural
disasters, the social disaster of her own making and continuing coup
threats. She sent Rep. Jose V. Yap as her emissary to me as CPP
founding chairman in Amsterdam in order to offer peace negotiations
between the GRP and NDFP. I welcomed the offer despite the earlier
cancellation of my Philippine passport on September 16, 1988.

The NDFP gave to Yap an aide memoire for GRP President Aquino stressing
that peace negotiations should not be held in the Philippines because of
serious dangers to the NDFP, as proven in the ceasefire talks and
agreement in 1986-87. The NDFP agreed to engage in peace negotiations if
held abroad, with the facilitation by a host government. But then
defense secretary Ramos kept on obstructing the possibility of peace
negotiations until he himself became GRP president in 1992 and sent back
Yap to the NDFP officials in The Netherlands to conduct exploratory talks.

The GRP and the NDFP promulgated on September 1, 1992 The Hague Joint
Declaration as the framework agreement for the peace negotiations
between them, with the Dutch government as facilitator. The agreement
stipulates that the aim of the peace negotiations is to lay the basis
for a just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the armed
conflict and forging comprehensive agreements on social, economic and
political reforms. It also stipulates that no side shall impose on the
other any precondition that negates the character and purpose of peace
negotiations.

It lays down the substantive agenda for making the following four
comprehensive agreements: respect for human rights and international
humanitarian law, social and economic reforms, political and
constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of
forces. It requires the sequential formation of Reciprocal Working
Committees to draft the tentative comprehensive agreements to be
finalized by the negotiating panels and to be ultimately approved by the
principals of the negotiating parties.

However, further exploratory talks were interrupted by the GRP’s
unilateral act of forming the National Unification Commission (NUC) for
GRP-managed fake localized peace negotiations. After the NUC was
dissolved, the GRP and NDFP made further major agreements in 1995 to
strengthen the peace process, such as the Joint Agreement on Safety and
Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) on for the negotiators, consultants and
related personnel on both sides, the Ground Rules for Meetings of the
Negotiating Panels, and the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence
and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees.

The GRP and the NDFP negotiating panels held the opening of formal peace
negotiations in Brussels, Belgium in 1995, with the Belgian government
as facilitator. The negotiations were interrupted for more than a year
because of the failure of the GRP to release from prison NDFP consultant
Sotero Llamas in accordance with the JASIG. The GRP and NDFP
negotiating panels cooperated in persuading GRP president Ramos to
override the objection of the defense secretary to the release of Llamas.

They resumed negotiations upon the release of Llamas in 1996. They
succeeded in finallzing and signing the Comprehensive Agreement on
Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)
on March 16, 1998. The NDFP principal, the chairman of the NDFP
National Council, signed and approved it promptly on April 10, 1998.
But the GRP President Ramos failed to approve it before the end of his
term of office in the same year. GRP President Estrada approved it on
August 7, 1998. But he would unilaterally find cause to terminate the
JASIG and in effect the peace negotiations in May 1999.

“Terrorist” Listing and Other Obstacles

After the Estrada regime fell in January 2001, as a result of massive
protests against corruption, the Arroyo regime agreed with the NDFP to
resume the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, to reaffirm all previous
agreements, to operationalize the Joint Monitoring Committee under
CARHRIHL and to have the Royal Norwegian Government as facilitator of
the peace negotiations. But in June 2001, it suddenly decided to
paralyze the peace negotiations and pursue a brutal policy of all-out
military suppression against the revolutionary movement.

It announced Oplan Bantay Laya as its counterrevolutionary military
campaign plan aligned with the so-called US war on terror. When GRP
President Arroyo visited the US in November 2001, she requested the US
to designate the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant as
“foreign terrorists”. House Speaker De Venecia, together with other
high GRP officials, came to The Netherlands towards the end of November
to meet the NDFP negotiators and consultants. He told them that the US
would designate the CPP, NPA and myself as “terrorists” unless the NDFP
signed a “final peace accord”, which required the dismantling of the NPA
and surrender of arms.

The NDFP refused to be blackmailed and insisted that the peace
negotiations should proceed if the GRP showed respect for and compliance
with JASIG with regard to the illegal arrest and detention of NDFP
consultants. The US acted to designate the CPP and NPA “terrorists” on
August 9, 2002 and myself on August 12, 2002. Within 24 hours, the
Dutch government listed me as “terrorist”, froze my bank account ,
deprived me of all the social benefits granted to me as asylum seeker
and even required me to reimburse pension payments previously made to
me. I took the legal action of demanding from the Dutch government the
basis for my being listed as “terrorist”.

The most that the Dutch authorities could show me was a press clipping
of somebody else’s article from Ang Bayan, the CPP publication, in which
the US is condemned and warned as an interventionist military force in
Philippine affairs. Then the Dutch government repealed its “terrorist”
listing of me only to become the prime movant in the Council of the
European Union (EU) for the inclusion of my name in the “terrorist”
blacklist of the European Union on October 28, 2002. Thus, I
proceeded for many years to wage the legal action for the removal of my
name from the EU blacklist. In the meantime, the inclusion of my name
in the EU “terrorist” list served to undermine and paralyze the
GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, despite previous EU Parliament resolutions
endorsing and supporting these.

Ultimately, the European Court of Justice made a judgment in my favor on
30 September 2009. This became final on 10 December 2009 in the
absence of appeal by the losing side. It ruled conclusively that my
fundamental rights had been violated by my being listed a “terrorist”
and subjected to sanctions without being charged with any specific
terrorist crime. The fundamental rights violated included the following:
the right to be informed of the charge if any, the right to be presumed
innocent, the right to legal counsel and the right to judicial relief.

Since the “terrorist” listing of the CPP, NPA and myself in 2002, the
GRP-NDFP peace negotiations have been paralyzed. The NDFP took the
position that the foreign governments that blacklisted the CPP, NPA and
myself as “terrorists” had no right to intervene in Philippine affairs
and make judgments over Philippine entities and their alleged acts
within Philippine territory. The NDFP proposed to the GRP to make a
joint statement simply declaring that no foreign government had such
right. But the craven puppet reaction of the GRP was to assert the
“sovereign right” of the US and other foreign governments to intervene
in Philippine affairs.

In 2004 the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels met in Oslo and issued a
joint communique in which the two negotiating parties and the RNG as
third party facilitator committed themselves to exert joint and separate
efforts to seek the removal of the names of CPP, NPA and myself from
the “terrorist” blacklist. As soon as the GRP panel returned to the
Philippines, the presidential adviser on the peace process issued a
statement that foreign governments had the “sovereign right” to make
judgments over Philippine entities and acts.

When in August 2005 the NDFP demanded GRP compliance with the JASIG and
the Oslo joint communique, the GRP decided to “suspend” indefinitely
the JASIG even as this agreement provides that either one or both
negotiating parties have only two choices: either respect the
effectivity of the JASIG or terminate the entire agreement. The
practical effect of the “suspension” was the complete paralysis, if not
yet complete death of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

Since 2005 the Arroyo regime had made representations to the Dutch
government for my arrest on false charges of murder. In August 2007 the
Dutch police arrested me and raided the information office of the NDFP
and six residences of NDFP negotiating panelists, consultants and
staffers. They took away papers and digital copies of documents related
to the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

One after the other, the Dutch District Court of The Hague and the
Appellate Court dismissed the false charge of murder against me in 2007
and eventually the Dutch National Prosecution Service dropped its
investigation. The Dutch police returned most of the hard and digital
copies of the documents they seized. But they did not return one disk
containing the most important code and the four related disks were
returned but had been corrupted or damaged. These five disks contained
the codes for encrypting and decrypting the photos and information
deposited in a safety box in a Dutch bank for the benefit of the NDFP
consultants, security officers and staffers involved in the GRP-NFP
peace negotiations in accordance with JASIG.

After the current Aquino regime replaced the Arroyo regime in June
2010,the GRP and NDFP agreed to meet and resume their negotiations. The
GRP recomposed its negotiating panel for the purpose in November 2010.
But unfortunately it appointed as presidential adviser on the peace
process the same Arroyo factotum, Teresita Deles, who had sabotaged the
GRP-NDFP peace negotiations since 2004.

The NDFP negotiating panel and the newly-composed GRP negotiating panel
met and issued a joint statement in Oslo in February 2011. The latter
panel joined the reaffirmation of all previous agreements in the
GRP-NDFP but maliciously insisted on inserting the clause that it had
qualifications for signing and that the The Hague Joint Declaration was
a “document of perpetual division”, thus attacking the framework
agreement which had validated and made possible the peace negotiations.

Despite the negative position of the GRP negotiating panel, the NDFP
chief political consultant reiterated to the GRP principal the long
standing NDFP offer to the GRP since 2005 for an immediate truce and
alliance on the basis of a general statement of common intent to realize
full national independence, democracy, social justice and economic
development through genuine land reform and national industrialization.

The offer had been made to answer effectively the constant GRP demand
for indefinite ceasefire to effect the capitulation and pacification of
the revolutionary forces and people. The NDFP chief political consultant
averred that the truce and alliance offered by NDFP could be negotiated
on a special track, while the regular track would proceed in accordance
with The Hague Joint Declaration and subsequent agreements.

The GRP boasts that it has no obligation to comply with the JASIG and
insists that detained NDFP consultants can seek release only by going
through the legal processes of the reactionary government,
notwithstanding the falsity of the charges of common crimes which the
Arroyo regime had fabricated in its so-called legal offensive of filing
false charges of common crimes to tie down and persecute targeted
opponents. It would be discovered later on that the Arroyo regime and
the Dutch government had connived in using the Dutch prosecution and
police to disable the codes for decrypting the photos and information on
the JASIG-protected consultants.

The GRP used the aforesaid discovery as further pretext to refuse
compliance with the JASIG on the release of detained NDFP consultants
even on humanitarian grounds. It also refused to allow the
reconstruction of the list of the documents that could not be retrieved
due to the destroyed codes. After three years of negotiations between
the Aquino regime and the NDFP, not a single NDFP consultant has been
released in compliance with the JASIG. And yet the regime has
maliciously spread the lie in the mass media that the NDFP negotiates
with the GRP only to have the NDFP consultants released and returned to
the battlefield.

In June 2012 when the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels met in Oslo again.
The most that could be agreed upon was a short paragraph, stating that
“meaningful discussions shall continue on the issues raised by the two
sides”, without reference to the substantive agenda in the The Hague
Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and
Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees. This
short-paragraph agreement is now being interpreted by the Aquino regime
as the end of the peace negotiations on the regular track.

After a series of meetings between the NDFP chief political consultant,
the GPH presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas and RNG Ambassador
Ture Lundh, the GRP and NDFP delegations met in February 2013 supposedly
to prepare on the special track for a meeting between the GRP president
and the CPP founding chairman in a historic meeting in Hanoi similar to
that between the former and the MILF chairman in Tokyo in 2011. The
NDFP submitted a draft communique for such meeting and an elaboration of
its initial draft Declaration for National Unity and Just Peace,
providing for truce and cooperation.

The GRP delegation practically killed the special track by demanding
that the truce be in the form of indefinite unilateral and simultaneous
ceasefires within the legal framework of the reactionary government and
without any kind of substantive agreement mutually beneficial to the two
sides and the people. The NDFP delegation expressed the view that such
demand made the special track unnecessary and that the GRP-NDFP peace
negotiations be resumed to do the work on the substantive agenda
stipulated by The Hague Joint Declaration.

In the meantime, the US-Aquino regime continues to engage in state
terrorism. This involves the gross and systematic violations of human
rights under Oplan Bayanihan, now in the process of surpassing those
under Oplan Bantay Laya during the US-Arroyo regime. It does so in
contravention of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees
(JASIG) by illegally arresting and indefinitely detaining, torturing and
murdering persons associated with the NDFP and involved in the peace
negotiations and refusing to investigate and in effect condoning cases
of violations of the JASIG.

On a far larger scale, violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on
Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHIL)
include the abduction, indefinite detention, torture and murder of
social activists and suspected revolutionaries on false accusations of
common crimes, indiscriminate military attacks on entire communities of
the urban poor, the peasants and indigenous people, forced mass
evacuations and evictions from land and homes.

Prospects of People’s War and Peace Negotiations

Through its presidential adviser on the peace process, its negotiating
panel chairman and its presidential spokesman, the Aquino regime has
publicly announced that it shall no longer go into any formal talks with
the NDFP in both the regular and special tracks of the peace
negotiations. It has also announced that it has already informed the
Royal Norwegian government (RNG) that it has terminated its peace
negotiations with the NDFP. But upon inquiry by the NDFP Negotiating
Panel, the RNG denied ever having received any notice of termination.

At the same time, the Aquino regime has announced taking a “new
approach”. This refers to the end of the peace negotiations, the
escalation of the brutal military campaigns and psychological warfare
under the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan. The psywar campaigns have been
going on for sometime. It involves faking localized negotiations and
fabricating mass surrenders and doling out a part of the graft-ridden
Conditional Cash Transfer and PAMANA funds, while most funds are
misappropriated and end up in the pockets of the corrupt bureaucrats and
military officers.

The US-Aquino regime is hell bent on using brute military in a futile
attempt to destroy the revolutionary forces and the people represented
by the NDFP. In the process, it will continue to commit gross and
systematic violations of human rights.
The violations of civil and political rights include abductions or
forced disappearances, illegal arrests and indefinite detention, false
charges of common crimes against social activists, torture,
extrajudicial killings, massacres and indiscriminate attacks on
communities by bombings, strafing and artillery fire. The violations of
economic, social and cultural rights include forced mass evacuations,
destruction of employment and livelihood, grabbing of the land for the
benefit of the foreign corporations and bureaucrat comprador-landlords,
ethnocide against the indigenous people, wanton plunder of the natural
resources and destruction of the environment.

Under the leadership of the CPP, the NPA is determined and prepared to
fight the escalating counterrevolutionary violence and to carry out the
plan to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate.
We are going to see the intensification of the civil war between the
reactionary government of the big compradors and landlords; and the
revolutionary government of the workers and peasants. The worsening
crisis of the ruling system, the consequent suffering of the people and
the absence of peace negotiations make the ground ever more fertile for
the spread and intensification of the people’s war.

Because of the extreme anti-national and anti-democratic character of
the US-Aquino regime, there is no indication whatsoever that it shall
soon agree to resume the peace negotiations and respond positively to
the clamor of the advocates of just peace and human rights for the
resumption of the peace negotiations. The NDFP still expects that upon
the worsening of the crisis of the ruling system and the rise of the
people’s revolutionary strength, the possibility will grow that the
US-Aquino regime or the succeeding regime will seek the resumption of
peace negotiations. ###

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proletarische revolution revolutionär-kommunistische zeitung in österreich
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