From the Website of PRWC CPP-NPA-NDF
7 May 2013
The Communist Party of the Philippines and all the revolutionary mass organizations under the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) assail the US-Aquino regime’s unilateral termination of the peace negotiations. At the end of April, Malacañang officials declared that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) under Aquino was no longer interested in talking with the representatives of the NDFP.
To justify their decision, they claimed that the NDFP’s demand to release its 14 peace talks consultants is an unjust and impossible “precondition.” The NDFP clarified that this was not a “precondition” because it is an obligation on the part of the GPH stipulated under the JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees). The JASIG provides guarantees to the safety and security of persons involved in the talks against arrest, detention, surveillance or prosecution by the other party.
The US-Aquino regime has terminated the peace talks without formality and without even giving notice to the NDFP and the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) which serves as third-party facilitator in the negotiations. The JASIG states that a party intending the early termination of the talks must formally inform the other party, with the termination taking effect 30 days from receipt of such notice. The GPH has not issued any such notice, whether to the NDFP or the RNG, and unilaterally terminated the talks only through irresponsible statements to the media.
In ending the talks, the US-Aquino regime wants to nullify important agreements painstakingly forged by the NDFP and previous governments of the Republic of the Philippines in the past 20 years or so. Among these critical agreements are The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992, the JASIG of 1995 and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) of 1998.
Since Aquino came to power, he has relentlessly violated these agreements. Although there was formal recognition of The Hague Joint Declaration as the foundation for the talks, it was held in contempt by the GPH as a document of “perpetual division.” The GPH has violated the JASIG in arresting and detaining NDFP consultants. Despite its “peace and human rights” rhetoric repeated ad nauseam, it has relentlessly been violating the provisions of the CARHRIHL.
The revolutionary forces must assert the continuing validity of these agreements. They must continue to demand that the Aquino regime release the detained NDFP consultants on the basis of the JASIG and all political detainees on the basis of the CARHRIHL. They must likewise assert the correctness of The Hague Joint Declaration as the foundation and framework for attaining a just and lasting peace founded on unity on the principles of national sovereignty, social justice and democracy.
By unilaterally ending the peace negotiations with the NDFP, the US-Aquino regime has stymied the talks on socio-economic reforms. As early as 1998, upon the conclusion of the first agenda on human rights, the NDFP submitted its first draft on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms. But the GPH, including the US-Aquino regime, has not submitted a reply since then.
Instead of subjecting the draft to negotiation and debate, the US-Aquino regime has mocked it in the media, claiming that its contents are passé. In fact, it is the regime’s program of “foreign debt- and investment-driven development” that is worn-out, having been implemented for more than half a century on the orders of the US and the IMF-World Bank.
In reality, the US-Aquino regime has chosen to unilaterally terminate its talks with the NDFP to eliminate all obstacles to its enforcement of economic programs and policies favorable to big foreign and local businessmen. Aquino wants to continue paving the way for the entry of foreign corporations to plunder the Philippines’ mineral resources, continue pegging and pulling down workers’ wages to entice foreign investors and go on giving foreign monopolies free rein to raise oil prices and control public infrastructure and services.
Since Aquino came to power, he has not shown an iota of interest in using the peace talks as an instrument to confront and resolve the issues that lie at the roots of the raging civil war in the Philippines. Even during the first discussions, it had become clear that all he wanted was to use the peace negotiations to convince the revolutionary forces to have their hands tied by agreeing to an indefinite ceasefire.
The US-Aquino regime’s very shallow concept of the peace talks reared its ugly head when GPH negotiators said that the talks are useless if the war continues. Three years after the US-Aquino regime failed to entrap the NDFP into agreeing to a ceasefire of indefinite duration, the peace talks lost their usefulness to Aquino. In terminating the talks, Aquino is turning a deaf ear to the people’s cry to address the issues that are at the roots of the intensifying civil war in the Philippines.
As designed by the US government in the “Counter-insurgency Guide of 2009,” for Aquino, the peace negotiations are merely an extension of the Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression being waged by his armed forces. Aquino has given his fascist troops free rein to intensify their attacks against the people.
Violations of human rights and of the rights of children, and soldiers’ crimes against women can be expected to intensify. Intensifying militarization in the countryside will further lead to killings, illegal arrests, torture, violations of domicile, theft, and food and economic blockades, among others.
It is the CPP and the entire revolutionary movement’s general policy to remain open to peace negotiations with any reactionary government that is ready to talk seriously, respect past agreements, comply with its obligations and address the roots of the armed conflict to attain a just and lasting peace.
The CPP calls on all sectors interested in resolving the roots of the civil war to unite and assail Aquino’s unilateral termination of the peace talks with the NDFP. They must demand the resumption of formal talks, the release of imprisoned NDFP peace talks consultants and the continuation of talks on socio-economic reforms.
In this regard, the tasks of the NPA and people’s militia to intensify the people’s war, launch tactical offensives against the enemy armed forces and defend the people’s interests are further underscored.
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