By Professor JOSE MARIA SISON
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
In line with her brutal policy of suppressing the revolutionary forces of the people, Gloria M. Arroyo has apparently closed the door to peace negotiations by declaring that she would negotiate with “communities” rather than with the armed revolutionary movements like the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), unless they first surrender and agree to be subjected to “disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation” under the terms of the continuing system of oppression and exploitation.
Arroyo misses the whole point about the peace negotiations as a mutually agreed process for the conflicting parties to address the roots of the armed conflict and work out agreements on social, economic and political reforms in order to realize a just and lasting peace. She is excessively obsessed with the vain wish to destroy or debilitate the armed revolutionary movements through all-out military force. This is complemented by her notion that she can use sham negotiations to trick these movements to capitulate or to paralyze them with indefinite informal talks and ceasefire.
She overestimates what she and her armed forces can do and underestimates what the people and the armed revolutionary movements can do against her regime. She is oblivious of the fact that the entire ruling system and her regime in particular are rotten to the core and are beset by a grave socio-economic and political crisis, that her armed forces are already fatigued and demoralized by the failures and defeats of Oplan Bantay Laya and that the armed forces of the NDFP and MILF can deliver more lethal blows to their common foe if they simultaneously intensify their offensives in their respective territories.
Indeed, it can be expected that the level of armed resistance by the revolutionary forces and people will rise on a nationwide scale because in the first place the Arroyo regime is carrying out a brutal policy of suppression and is escalating military campaigns against them. All the organized forces, institutions and people interested in the realization of a just and lasting peace through peace negotiations should press the Arroyo regime to end its brutal policy of suppression, to stop the depradations and atrocities of the reactionary armed forces, and to undertake serious peace negotiations with the NDFP and MILF in accordance with previous agreements.