Revolutionary forces stand united with NDFP Peace Negotiating Panel

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today dismissed claims by Gen. Avelino Razon, presidential adviser on the peace process, that the CPP and NDF leadership are locked in internal squabbles and divided between those for and against the continuation of peace talks.

The leadership and entire membership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People's Army (NPA) and all revolutionary organizations are one with the negotiating panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) regarding the conduct of peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

"Razon's statement is sheer intrigue and is a vain effort to pass on to the CPP and NDFP the US-Arroyo's regime's responsibility for sabotaging the peace process," said the CPP. "It is nothing but a shameless coverup of the ruling regime's persistent violations of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and other agreements meant to pave the way for the resumption of formal peace negotiations."

The CPP slammed the Arroyo regime's refusal to release all NDFP negotiators, consultants and staff who have been "arrested and detained on trumped-up criminal charges." Malacañang wants to limit the number to only four.

The CPP said that Malacañang's Inter-Agency Legal Action Group purposely filed false charges to suppress and persecute NDFP peace panel members, consultants and staff.

The CPP moreover assailed Razon for claiming that the release of 14 NDFP consultants currently incarcerated was not part of an earlier agreement in preparation for the resumption of formal peace talks. The Party pointed out that the GRP had agreed to expedite its compliance with the JASIG during informal talks held in June 15 by releasing all detained NDFP officials, consultants and staff involved in the peace process and withdrawing charges against them and other NDFP consultants and staff.

No less than Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who once served as justice secretary and a member of the GRP peace panel, said the release of the 14 personnel is actually "doable." Since June, however, only Elizabeth Principe and Randall Echanis have been released from detention. "All other NDFP consultants in prison continue to be held hostage by the US-Arryo regime," the CPP said.

Principe was released on the strength of a court order after the last of six cases filed by the GRP against her was dismissed. Despite her victory in court, the Arroyo regime tried to block her release and in fact kept her in prison two more weeks after she was ordered released," the CPP clarified.

"Echanis' release, on the other hand, which was 'good only for six months or for the duration of the peace talks' is a mockery of the peace process. Safe conduct passes issued by the GRP to NDFP consultants Vicente Ladlad and Rafael Baylosis are worthless since the two consultants are still subject to persecution and armed attacks by the GRP," added the CPP.

The CPP stressed that "The revolutionary forces in the Philippines continue to support 100% the efforts of the NDFP negotiating panel to work for the possible resumption of formal peace talks with the GRP, in an effort to to address the basic problems of the Filipino people which are at the core of the raging armed conflict. At the same time, they are starkly aware of the insincerity shown all along by the US-Arroyo regime and are prepared to wait for the assumption to power of a regime that may be more open to the pursuit of a just peace."