CPP doubts peace agreement to be reached by 2012 due to Aquino intransingence

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said it is becoming “increasingly doubtful” that a peace agreement between the Philippine government (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) will be reached by 2012 or any time within Benigno Aquino III’s term. The CPP issued this reaction after GPH chief negotiator Alexander Padilla said yesterday that the GPH has moved its target of forging an agreement with the NDFP to the end of next year, instead of June 2012.

“It is becoming increasingly doubtful that the GPH will succeed in forging a peace agreement with the NDFP due to its adamant refusal to comply with its standing obligations, particularly its commitment in January, February and September to release the detained consultants of the NDFP covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG),” said the CPP.

“There remain at least 13 NDFP consultants who are being detained in military and police camps,” pointed out the CPP. “How can the GPH expect the NDFP to sit down in peace negotiations when a significant number of its representatives who are supposed to participate in the talks are being kept behind bars by the GPH?”

“The release of the JASIG-protected consultants of the NDFP is a matter of palabra de honor on the part of the GPH,” said the CPP. “This year alone, the GPH has made the committment to release the NDFP consultants in at least three occasions, the last of which was made last September in a meeting hosted by the representative of the Norwegian government. Now it is reneging on those commitments.”

“If the GPH expects to forge a peace agreement, whether with the NDFP or the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), it will have to prove itself capable of keeping its promises and in complying with its commitments,” said the CPP. “In both the peace talks with the NDFP and with the MILF, the GPH is showing itself incapable of fulfilling its obligations, thus making a mockery of the negotiations.”

“The GPH’s conduct in its peace negotiations with the NDFP shows that it is not really interested in forging a political settlement that would resolve the fundamental socio-economic and political concerns that lie at the root of the armed conflict,” said the CPP. “It is becoming increasingly clear that Aquino has a very myopic view of peace negotiations with the NDFP and deems them useful only if they effect the pacification and surrender of the revolutionary forces.”

“Aquino is demonstrating clearly that he does not understand what just and lasting peace is,” said the CPP. “His regime’s policies, which have not deviated from the past policy-impositions of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and Word Bank show that he is not interested in addressing poverty and unemployment, in achieving social justice, and empowering the people under a progressive and genuinely democratic political system.”

“While confining the peace negotiations to a narrow side alley, Aquino is widening the road of war for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),” added the CPP. “Under the Aquino regime’s (counter-insurgency program) Oplan Bayanihan, its armed forces have been given free rein to conduct brutal military operations in the countryside.”

“There is a renewed campaign of extrajudicial killings with at least one victim killed every ten days since Aquino assumed power,” said the CPP. “The political, economic, civil and cultural rights of hundreds of thousands of people, especially in the countryside, are daily being trampled on by the AFP in the conduct of its so-called ‘peace missions’ which achieve nothing but the ‘peace of the silenced’.”

“Aquino’s road of war, however, will only lead to greater resistance and can only steel the people’s determination to wage revolutionary struggle.”