Resumption of formal talks in GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations must comply with Hague Joint Declarations

Executive Director
NDFP International Information Office

This is to inform the public and the mass media that the undersigned Executive Director of the NDFP International Information Office is authorized by the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to issue statements concerning the subject of NDFP peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

The NDFP holds the GRP, particularly its de facto president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, responsible for having cumulatively built obstacles to the resumption of formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. The obstacles are as follows:

  1. The GRP has connived with the US and other governments to vilify the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA) and the NDFP chief political consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison as “terrorists” and has thereby violated the principle of national sovereignty in The Hague Joint Declaration, the safety and immunity guarantees in the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the basic democratic rights and the Hernandez political offense doctrine in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
  2. The GRP has failed to fulfill its promises since 2001 to release political prisoners and cease human rights violations. Instead, it has stepped up human rights violations at the expense of suspected revolutionaries, legal personalities and organizations and the broad masses of the people. The human rights violations include false criminal charges, illegal detention, kidnapping, torture, assassinations, massacres and forced mass evacuations.
  3. The GRP has unleashed human rights violations directed specifically against persons duly-authorized to participate in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. It has filed charges of common crimes and caused the illegal detention of holders of documents of identification related to the peace negotiations. It caused the torture and murder of others and undertaken threats of assassination against the NDFP chief political consultant, senior legal adviser UN ad litem Judge Romeo T. Capulong and nominees to the NDFP section of the Joint Secretariat of the Joint Monitoring Commission under CARHRIHL.
  4. The GRP has formed a phoney negotiating panel headed by Nieves Confesor of the hang-Flor Contemplacion notoriety. This panel is phoney because its sole objective is to prevent the resumption of formal talks by preconditioning these with the pacification and capitulation of the NDFP through a demand for “indefinite ceasefire” in violation of The Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on the Sequence, Formation and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Agreements and other related agreements.

Since the beginning, the NDFP has made clear that it is amenable to short-term temporary ceasefire agreements on humanitarian grounds, such as those related to certain holidays, the release of prisoners of war, medical missions, the safe transport of the wounded in the battlefield, and the like. But the NDFP has also made clear that the subject of prolonged or indefinite ceasefire or lasting truce properly belongs to the fourth and last item of the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations.

Under the dictation of US imperialism, the GRP is hell-bent on scuttling the peace negotiations by demanding the scrapping and violation of existing agreements as precondition to the resumption for formal talks. It wants to make the premature subject of prolonged ceasefire the issue to override and put away the existing agreements and people’s demands for social, economic and political reforms.

The GRP calculates that if at the least the peace negotiations can be converted to ceasefire negotiations or at the most it can get a prolonged ceasefire agreement, then it can ignore the people’s demands for basic social, economic and political reforms, escalate reactionary violence against the people and the revolutionary forces and preoccupy them with false charges of human rights violations. This is a lesson learned by the NDFP from the 1986-87 peace negotiations.

Right now, the GRP is escalating human rights violations in an obvious attempt to pressure the NDFP to agree to a prolonged ceasefire as a way of obtaining the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces and people. But the GRP is actually inciting the revolutionary people and forces to intensify their resistance against the worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation.

The US, de facto GRP president Arroyo, and her retinue of rabid reactionaries like executive secretary General Eduardo Ermita, interior secretary General Angelo Reyes,the AFP chief of staff, national security adviser Norberto Gonzales and presidential adviser Teresita Deles should cease and desist from their malicious and brutal counterrevolutionary tactics.

The NDFP calls on the GRP to comply with The Hague Joint Declaration and all other agreements it has signed in the process of peace negotiations with the NDFP. The GRP should not obstruct, delay or prevent the resumption of formal talks by trying to inveigle the NDFP into accepting capitulation and pacification under the guise of prolonged or indefinite ceasefire or to convert the peace negotiations into ceasefire negotiations which obfuscate and lay aside the people’s demands for social, economic and political reforms.