The Filipino people must unite to remove obstacles to peace

Julie De Lima, Interim Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Peace Panel

As we celebrate Human Rights Day, we look forward to answering the people’s hope for a just and lasting peace. The Joint Statement, which was signed on November 23 and announced to the public on November 28 charts out important points to be discussed in the event that peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP resumes. The first paragraph sets these out: “Cognizant of the serious socioeconomic and environmental issues, and the foreign security threats facing the country, the parties recognize the need to unite as a nation in order to urgently address these challenges and resolve the reasons for the armed conflict.”

Serious socioeconomic (poverty, inequality, foreign economic domination, etc.) and environmental issues (combating global warming and climate mitigation, etc.) as well as foreign security threats (US and other imperialist domination) will be issues of discussion on the table when peace negotiations resume.

Given all these, we expect negotiations if they happen at all, would be complicated and arduous. Thus, we need the support of the Filipino people to continue on the track towards the resolution of the armed conflict by addressing the people’s deep-rooted socioeconomic and political grievances which constitute the roots of the armed conflict.

For the peace to be achieved, the Filipino people must unite to remove all its obstacles. Rest assured that the NDFP, as the political authority representing the toiling masses and the people, shall remain firm in preserving the gains of the past negotiations while learning from its lessons as well, even as it is ready to be flexible, to ensure that the interests and welfare of the revolutionary forces and the people are always protected and advanced.