Resumption of formal talks is still possible if Arroyo government respects and complies with JASIG

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
NDFP Negotiating Panel

It is still possible to resume the formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations if the GRP respects and complies with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). As soon as possible, the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels, with their respective lawyers, should meet in Oslo in order to put in writing the most expeditious methods of removing the impediments on NDFP consultants.

This meeting has been proposed by the NDFP negotiating panel through the Norwegian government because the GRP has not fulfilled the following commitments it made last June 15.

  1. To respect and comply with the JASIG and remove within the month of July the impediments imposed by the GRP on the NDFP consultants so that these consultants can participate in preparations for the Oslo meetings that were slated to start on August 28;
  2. To let the lawyers of the GRP discuss and agree with the lawyers of the NDFP on the most expeditious methods of removing the impediments on the basis of precedents in the time of GRP President Ramos;
  3. To use the expeditious release of Dan Borjal in 1997 to serve as the model for releasing detained NDFP consultants;
  4. To withdraw all trumped up charges used by GRP to detain NDFP consultants and issue warrants of arrest against NDFP panelists, consultants and other JASIG-protected persons; and
  5. To release immediately those detainees whose release was ordered as goodwill measures by Gloria M. Arroyo in 2001 and 2004

The GRP has not respected and complied with the JASIG. Instead, the militarist clique of Executive Eduardo Ermita and OPAPP Secretary Avelino Razon have exerted their best efforts to undermine and negate the JASIG, to reinterpret it onesidedly and convert it into a tool of Oplan Bantay Laya, to generate further impediments and in brief to sabotage the peace process as a way of addressing the roots of the armed conflict and laying the basis for a just and lasting peace

The militarists defied the courts that ordered the release of Elizabeth Principe and for two weeks they tried to prevent her release. She was eventually released because of the clamor for her release by human rights organizations and many people. Then, the militarists claimed that they were responsible for her release.

They caused the issuance of a temporary release order of six months in a malicious maneuver to make Randall Echanis a hostaged consultant. They have issued sham safe conduct passes whose text incriminates Rafael Baylosis and Vicente Ladlad and serves as judgment of conviction and death warrants against them.

The GRP has not only deliberately made a zero compliance with the June 15 agreement but has further violated the JASIG and generated new impediments. So far the GRP has not shown any serious interest in resuming the formal talks. The Arroyo regime is preoccupied by serving the interests of foreign and domestic plunderers, wallowing in bureaucratic corruption and unleashing the most vicious forms of reactionary violence against the people and the revolutionary forces.