Friday, May 10, 2013

It’s the NDF, not the GPH, that has stymied the peace talks

It’s the NDF, not the GPH, that has stymied the peace talks

Thu, 05/09/2013
Statement of GPH Panel Chair Alexander Padilla
May 9, 2013
The Communist Party of the Philippines/ New People’s Army/ National Democratic Front (CNN) has gone on a media rampage accusing the GPH of unilaterally “terminating” the peace negotiations.
The truth is we have not terminated the talks.  We have simply stated the fact that the regular track is stalled and the special track has been effectively stymied by the NDFP. At this point, therefore, there is no track to pursue.
The fact is, it is the CNN that has brought the talks to its present impasse. They stalled the formal talks (Regular Track-RT) after its promising re-opening in February 2011 by demanding the release of captured combatants, who they subsequently alleged to be NDFP consultants, before the talks could resume.  This went beyond the letter and spirit of the Oslo Joint Statement of 2011 that re-established the talks.
In two letters dated May 18 and 28, 2011, the NDF postponed the scheduled June meetings “until such time the releases of NDFP consultants and JASIG-protected persons are carried out.”  Hence, the impasse.
They also closed the avenue of the Special Track (ST), effectively terminating it, when Joma Sison, who authored the ST, reneged on his original proposal for an indefinite ceasefire and imposed demands that would have placed the ST on the protracted and difficult track of the RT.
With the regular track on an impasse before we could even commence discussing the substantive issues, and the special track effectively terminated, there is no track at the moment that will realistically lead to a final negotiated peace settlement of the 44 year internal armed conflict.
Without terminating the peace talks, the GPH is developing a new approach to peace talks that is time bound, agenda bound, with no preconditions and based on earnest consultations with the people who decry the fact that the violence has gone on for too long and demand that both sides heed their call for a peaceful resolution of the issues that they consider important and wish to put on the table.

OPPAP Website





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