By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Spokesperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee
The Arroyo regime has utterly failed in its main pipedream of destroying or reducing the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) to inconsequentiality in or before 2010. The falsity of the regime’s pipedream is exposed everyday by the NPA’s tactical offensives on a nationwide scale.
The regime’s secondary pipedream of being able to trick the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) into capitulation through a protracted ceasefire that preempts and prevents serious negotiations on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms has also failed utterly.
It is clear in the substantive agenda of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations that the end of armed hostilities and disposition of forces are the final item of the agenda and are the logical result of agreements on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms.
The GRP negotiating panel in Oslo was so obsessed with demanding that the NDFP surrender through a protracted ceasefire and with seeking to convert the peace negotiations into ceasefire negotiations that they ignored the following NDFP offers of doable types of ceasefire:
- Holiday ceasefire from 23 December 2008 to 3 January 2009 on humanitarian grounds;
- Ceasefire for the duration of formal meetings of the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels as goodwill and confidence-building measure and as incentive to substantive negotiations; and
- Ceasefire for the possible orderly and safe release of prisoners of war currently in the hands of the NPA.