PEOPLE’S WAR IN THE PHILIPPINES, PEACE NEGOTIATIONS & “TERRORIST” LISTING

Lecture at the University of Groningen, 16 May 2013

By Professor Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Prof. Jose Maria Sison Speaks on People's War and Peace Negotiations Before Students of International Relations at University of Groningen, May 16, 2013

First of all, I wish to thank the Studentenvereniging voor Internationale Betrekkingen (SIB), or the Dutch United Nations Student Association (DUNSA), for inviting me to lecture on the revolutionary armed struggle being carried out by the New People’s Army (NPA) under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

I am honored and privileged to be invited because your association has high prestige and is well known to feature as guest lecturers high officials of the United Nations, the European Union and the Netherlands, including prime ministers, cabinet officials, members of parliaments, senior administrators, high military commanders, outstanding professors and journalists.

I propose to discuss tonight the character and status of the people’s war in the Philippines, in relation to the social crisis and the policies of the Manila government, also in relation to the long running peace negotiations between the Manila government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and further in relation to the issue of including the CPP, NPA and the chief political consultant of the NDFP (myself) in the so-called terrorist list of the EU.

Character of the People’s War

Since its founding on 26 December 1968, the Communist Party of the Philippines has analyzed Philippine society and described it as semicolonial and semifeudal. The US formally ended its colonial rule over the Philippines and granted it nominal independence in 1946. However, it has retained indirect rule through the subservient local ruling classes of big compradors and landlords. These two classes have maintained the semifeudal, agrarian and underdeveloped character of the Philippine social economy.

In confronting the ruling system of big compradors and landlords under US monopoly capitalism, the CPP has put forward a Program of People’s Democratic Revolution. The principal aims of this program are the following: to struggle for full national independence, to empower the working people, to realize democracy both in the sense of upholding civil and political rights and liberating the peasantry from feudal and semi-feudal captivity, to promote a national, scientific and mass culture and to foster international solidarity and world peace against imperialism.

The motive forces of the revolution are the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie. The leading class is the working class through the CPP as its advanced detachment. The main force is the peasantry which is the majority class. The urban petty bourgeoisie is still a revolutionary class but no longer the leading class, in the shift from the global era of bourgeois-democratic revolution to that of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution. Even as it has a reactionary fear of the masses, the middle bourgeoisie is a positive patriotic force at best interested in national independence and economic development.

It is the position of the CPP that the exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords, as already proven in Philippine history, will never give up their power and wealth voluntarily. With US military support, they use their state power (army, police, prisons, courts, legislature and bureaucracy) to suppress the people’s national and democratic demands.

Thus, the CPP has set the line of achieving the people’s democratic revolution through the politico-military strategic line of protracted people’s war. This line entails developing in stages the people’s army and other revolutionary forces in the countryside over a long period of time in order to accumulate armed and political strength until they gain the capability to launch a nationwide general offensive and completely seize political power from the reactionary ruling classes.

For this purpose, the CPP has deployed its cadres in the countryside since early 1969 in order to build the New People’s Army (NPA) and the peasant movement, to carry out the revolutionary armed struggle and genuine land reform; and develop the mass base by organizing all possible forms of voluntary people’s association (for workers, peasants, women, youth, cultural activists, children, and so on), building the local CPP branches and establishing organs of political power in order to replace the political instruments of the exploiting classes.

The countryside offers the wide ground and rough terrain for the NPA to maneuver against the superior armed strength of the enemy and grow in stages by adopting the policy of strategic defense while carrying out tactical offensives against the forces of the enemy that are on the strategic offensive. The enemy forces are strategically superior to the NPA, at the ratio of 10 to 1, but through tactical offensives the NPA can gain superiority over the enemy forces, at the ratio of 10 to 1. Concentrated units of the NPA can pick the specific time and place to wipe out by surprise a specific part of the enemy force.

At the present stage, the NPA is waging intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. It uses the strategy and tactics of concentration, dispersal and shifting, as the need arises for achieving certain objectives. It concentrates a superior amount of force to wipe out an enemy unit. It wages only the battles that it can win. It disperses its units to conduct mass work and create more fighting units. It shifts its forces whenever it needs to evade a superior enemy force and gain a more advantageous position. It trades space for time and avoids battles that it cannot win. Most important of all, it enjoys the inexhaustible support of the masses and thus succeeds in keeping the enemy blind and deaf.

The CPP and the NPA envision a probability course of developing the people’s war in three strategic stages. At the first stage, the NPA is on the strategic defensive as the enemy is on the strategic offensive. At the second, the two warring armies are in a state of relative equilibrium and are in the strategic stalemate.At the third, the NPA is on the strategic offensive and the enemy is on the strategic defensive. The NPA accumulates strength as it wins battles and weakens the enemy forces and achieves the shift in the strategic balance of forces; and advance from one stage to another by launching the tactical offensives by guerrilla forces and eventually by regular mobile forces.

The people’s democratic revolution is basically completed upon the nationwide seizure of political power. The socialist revolution immediately starts, with the working class through its advance detachment continuing to lead the Philippine revolution, with the people’s army as the main component of state power and with the commanding heights of the economy nationalized, even as transitory bourgeois democratic reforms are carried out in harmony with the main process of socializing the ownership of the industrial means of production and realizing agricultural cooperation and mechanization.

Status of the People’s War

On the basis of reports published by the CPP and NPA (which you may check from www.philippinerevolution.net), we can inform ourselves on the status of the people’s war or strength of the NPA in terms of armed struggle, land reform and mass base building. We can also inform ourselves about the plan of the CPP and NPA to advance from the stage of strategic defensive to that of strategic stalemate by fulfilling both the political and military requirements.

The NPA is now operating in more than 110 guerrilla fronts, each with a total force ranging in size from an over-sized platoon to a company and with a territory roughly equivalent to a congressional district of at least five municipalities. The guerrilla fronts cover substantial parts of 70 provinces out of the total 81 Philippine provinces. The number of full-time Red fighters with high-powered rifles is moving towards the level of 10,000. They are also augmented by tens of thousands of volunteers in the people’s militia and in the hundreds of thousands of self-defense units of the mass organizations in the countryside.

The psywar experts of the reactionary government and its military are engaged in deception when they claim that the NPA had 25,000 Red fighters in the mid-1980s but now has only 4000 to 5000. The 1985 Plenum of the CC of the CPP assessed the NPA strength at 5,600 Red fighters with high-powered rifles. This rose to 6100 Red fighters in 1986. The people’s militia and self-defense units were not as well organized and well-trained as now. The NPA was undermined by grave Left opportunist errors, which would become the target of the Second Great Rectification Movement launched by the CPP in 1992.

The CPP, NPA and the peasant movement have carried out on a wide scale the minimum land reform program, involving the reduction of land rent, elimination of usury or excessive interest rates, raising the wages of farm workers, improving the prices of farm products and promoting agricultural production and sideline occupations through rudimentary cooperation. The maximum land reform program of confiscating and equitably distributing the land to the tillers for free is being carried out at an accelerated pace over more areas, depending on the strength and capability of the NPA and mass base.

To make more land available for land reform and to save the environment, the NPA is dismantling enterprises owned by foreign corporations and bureaucrat comprador-landlords, especially those that have grabbed the land from the peasants and indigenous peoples. These are export-oriented enterprises, including mining, logging and plantations. The NPA also takes action against biofuel production enterprises that take away land from food production; against expansive tourist facilities and against sheer real estate speculation.

The mass base of the CPP, NPA and other revolutionary forces runs into millions of people. It has been realized by building the mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth, cultural activists and children, the organs of political power from the village level to higher levels and the local Party branches. The organs of political power are led by the CPP and are assisted by working committees and by the mass organizations. Programs and mass campaigns are undertaken to promote mass organizing, mass education, land reform, production, disaster relief and rehabilitation, health care, local security and self-defense, settlement of disputes and cultural activities.

The revolutionary forces and people have attained such strength that they are aiming to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate and are working hard to fulfill the political and military requirements. The CPP membership is now beyond 100,000 and is expanding towards the goal of 250,000 in both urban and rural areas. The CPP is developing more Party cadres in the course of mass work and expanding Party membership. The NPA seeks to increase its Red fighters to 25,000 and its guerrilla fronts to 180. The organs of political power and the mass organizations are strengthening themselves and seek to cover more people by the millions through direct organizing and by united front work.

The ruling system in the Philippines is extremely outdated and is in chronic crisis, despite the urban gloss effected by neoliberal economic policy through conspicuous consumption, luxury imports and high rise buildings financed by foreign borrowing and remittances of overseas contract workers. The chronic crisis of the domestic ruling system is now exacerbated by the bankruptcy of the neoliberal policy regime and the ever worsening crisis of global capitalism.

The ruling system has perpetuated feudal and semifeudal exploitation and prevented genuine land reform and national industrialization. It is tied to the production of raw materials and semi-manufactures. Thus it suffers chronic trade and budgetary deficits. It is sinking in a morass of public debt due to excessive local and foreign borrowing. The remittances of overseas contract workers are used to fund consumption spending and luxury imports by the exploiting classes. They are bound to decrease as the export of cheap labor is being countered by political turmoil in the Middle East and deepening recession in the imperialist countries.

In the wake of the worsening economic and financial crisis, the Aquino regime is being assisted by US agencies and public relations firms in touting itself as the “new tiger” in East Asia. It misrepresents as healthy economic growth the inflow of “hot money” or portfolio investments in the stock market. Manufacturing and agriculture have declined. The reassembly and reexport of electronic goods have plummeted since 2008. Business call centers, private construction and mining are the favored enterprises. The regime shuns Filipino-owned industrial development.

The broad masses of the people are made to suffer an ever rising rate of unemployment, reduced incomes, soaring prices of basic goods and services and deterioration of the social infrastructure. The so-called anti-poverty programs of doleouts like the Consditional Cash Transfer and PAMANA have become devices of bureaucratic and military corruption and vote-buying in elections. Social discontent is widespread and sharpening among the toiling masses of workers and peasants and even among the middle social strata.

The false statistics of economic progress and rigged poll survey results of mass satisfaction are the object of public derision and contempt for the current regime and the ruling system. The recently-held elections are a brazen process of excluding patriotic and progressive leaders of the toiling masses and favoring clans and dynasties of big compradors and landlords. The economic and social crisis is generating conditions favorable to the people’s war.

The US-directed Aquino regime is aptly described by the CPP as a fanatic of neoliberalism. It has no social conscience and is anti-worker and anti-peasant. It does not offer any solution to the basic social and economic problems, now being rapidly aggravated by the crisis. It is obsessed with assuring the foreign banks and corporations and the local big compradors with the opportunities to make superprofits.

It overestimates its ability to use the bureaucracy, the military, the reactionary mass media and the imperialist -funded NGOs to obfuscate the raging social issues. It is preoccupied with seeking political monopoly by mass deception and electoral manipulation and using military force under the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan to suppress the revolutionary movement of the people. Of recent, it has announced in the mass media the end of the peace negotiations with the NDFP, without giving the latter any formal notice of termination.

GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations

Despite the determination of the revolutionary forces and the people to carry out the people’s democratic revolution through people’s war, they are open to the possibility of resolving the armed conflict through peace negotiations. The Central Committee of the CPP and National Council of the NDFP have created and authorized the NDFP Negotiating Panel to negotiate with the panel representing Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in the time of the Ramos regime and thereafter.

The NDFP carries forward the general line of struggle for national independence and democracy through the peace negotiations. It is the same line carried forward by the revolutionary forces and people in the course of armed revolution. It offers to the current enemy government the opportunity to change course and forge a truce and alliance with the NDFP for the purpose of confronting US imperialism and the worst of reactionaries and solving the basic problems of the people.

The GRP can only discredit itself by refusing to address the roots of the civil war and to enter into agreements on basic social, economic and political reforms. By persevering in the general line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war, the revolutionary forces and the people prevent the GRP from prettifying itself, from using the peace negotiations to confuse their ranks and from obtaining their capitulation and pacification.

In engaging in peace negotiations, the NDFP is guided by the fact that the revolutionary forces and people have a democratic government of their own in the form of the local organs of political power under the leadership of the CPP as the ruling party and such a government governs a population that runs into millions. It has a disciplined people’s army under an effective national command and a territory of over 100,000 square kilometers or 30 per cent of total Philippine territory. In fact, the CPP cadres and NPA fighters can move freely in more than 90 per cent of this national territory.

Under international law, the people’s democratic government of workers and peasants and the reactionary government of the big compradors and landlords are co-belligerents in a civil war, with US military and other forms of intervention on the side of the reactionary government. To assert the existence and integrity of the revolutionary government, the NDFP promulgated on July 5, 1996 its Unilateral Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I of 1977 and deposited this on July 6, 1996 with the Swiss Federal Council.

It has manifested its determination to wage people’s war under international law and to negotiate peace under the same. In fact, the GRP and NDFP have succeeded in forging the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) of 1998 under the principles and standards of the International Bill of Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and so on) and the International Humanitarian Law (the Geneva Conventions and related conventions).

In 1986, soon after the fall of the fascist dictator Marcos, the GRP and NDFP agreed to hold ceasefire talks in Manila and to forge a 60-day ceasefire agreement which would lead to a further agreement on the substantive agenda of peace negotiations. The ceasefire agreement, which was mutually signed in November 1986, was broken by the massacre of peasant demonstrators and their urban supporters by presidential guards in front of the presidential palace on January 22, 1987. GRP President Aquino protected the officers responsible for the massacre.. On March 25, 1987, she formally “unsheathed the sword of war” against the revolutionary forces and people and ordered a vicious campaign of military suppression called Lambat Bitag.

But in 1989 she became worried about the consequences of natural disasters, the social disaster of her own making and continuing coup threats. She sent Rep. Jose V. Yap as her emissary to me as CPP founding chairman in Amsterdam in order to offer peace negotiations between the GRP and NDFP. I welcomed the offer despite the earlier cancellation of my Philippine passport on September 16, 1988.

The NDFP gave to Yap an aide memoire for GRP President Aquino stressing that peace negotiations should not be held in the Philippines because of serious dangers to the NDFP, as proven in the ceasefire talks and agreement in 1986-87. The NDFP agreed to engage in peace negotiations if held abroad, with the facilitation by a host government. But then defense secretary Ramos kept on obstructing the possibility of peace negotiations until he himself became GRP president in 1992 and sent back Yap to the NDFP officials in The Netherlands to conduct exploratory talks.

The GRP and the NDFP promulgated on September 1, 1992 The Hague Joint Declaration as the framework agreement for the peace negotiations between them, with the Dutch government as facilitator. The agreement stipulates that the aim of the peace negotiations is to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the armed conflict and forging comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms. It also stipulates that no side shall impose on the other any precondition that negates the character and purpose of peace negotiations.

It lays down the substantive agenda for making the following four comprehensive agreements: respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces. It requires the sequential formation of Reciprocal Working Committees to draft the tentative comprehensive agreements to be finalized by the negotiating panels and to be ultimately approved by the principals of the negotiating parties.

However, further exploratory talks were interrupted by the GRP’s unilateral act of forming the National Unification Commission (NUC) for GRP-managed fake localized peace negotiations. After the NUC was dissolved, the GRP and NDFP made further major agreements in 1995 to strengthen the peace process, such as the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) on for the negotiators, consultants and related personnel on both sides, the Ground Rules for Meetings of the Negotiating Panels, and the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees.

The GRP and the NDFP negotiating panels held the opening of formal peace negotiations in Brussels, Belgium in 1995, with the Belgian government as facilitator. The negotiations were interrupted for more than a year because of the failure of the GRP to release from prison NDFP consultant Sotero Llamas in accordance with the JASIG. The GRP and NDFP negotiating panels cooperated in persuading GRP president Ramos to override the objection of the defense secretary to the release of Llamas.

They resumed negotiations upon the release of Llamas in 1996. They succeeded in finallzing and signing the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) on March 16, 1998. The NDFP principal, the chairman of the NDFP National Council, signed and approved it promptly on April 10, 1998. But the GRP President Ramos failed to approve it before the end of his term of office in the same year. GRP President Estrada approved it on August 7, 1998. But he would unilaterally find cause to terminate the JASIG and in effect the peace negotiations in May 1999.

“Terrorist” Listing and Other Obstacles

After the Estrada regime fell in January 2001, as a result of massive protests against corruption, the Arroyo regime agreed with the NDFP to resume the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, to reaffirm all previous agreements, to operationalize the Joint Monitoring Committee under CARHRIHL and to have the Royal Norwegian Government as facilitator of the peace negotiations. But in June 2001, it suddenly decided to paralyze the peace negotiations and pursue a brutal policy of all-out military suppression against the revolutionary movement.

It announced Oplan Bantay Laya as its counterrevolutionary military campaign plan aligned with the so-called US war on terror. When GRP President Arroyo visited the US in November 2001, she requested the US to designate the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant as “foreign terrorists”. House Speaker De Venecia, together with other high GRP officials, came to The Netherlands towards the end of November to meet the NDFP negotiators and consultants. He told them that the US would designate the CPP, NPA and myself as “terrorists” unless the NDFP signed a “final peace accord”, which required the dismantling of the NPA and surrender of arms.

The NDFP refused to be blackmailed and insisted that the peace negotiations should proceed if the GRP showed respect for and compliance with JASIG with regard to the illegal arrest and detention of NDFP consultants. The US acted to designate the CPP and NPA “terrorists” on August 9, 2002 and myself on August 12, 2002. Within 24 hours, the Dutch government listed me as “terrorist”, froze my bank account , deprived me of all the social benefits granted to me as asylum seeker and even required me to reimburse pension payments previously made to me. I took the legal action of demanding from the Dutch government the basis for my being listed as “terrorist”.

The most that the Dutch authorities could show me was a press clipping of somebody else’s article from Ang Bayan, the CPP publication, in which the US is condemned and warned as an interventionist military force in Philippine affairs. Then the Dutch government repealed its “terrorist” listing of me only to become the prime movant in the Council of the European Union (EU) for the inclusion of my name in the “terrorist” blacklist of the European Union on October 28, 2002. Thus, I proceeded for many years to wage the legal action for the removal of my name from the EU blacklist. In the meantime, the inclusion of my name in the EU “terrorist” list served to undermine and paralyze the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, despite previous EU Parliament resolutions endorsing and supporting these.

Ultimately, the European Court of Justice made a judgment in my favor on 30 September 2009. This became final on 10 December 2009 in the absence of appeal by the losing side. It ruled conclusively that my fundamental rights had been violated by my being listed a “terrorist” and subjected to sanctions without being charged with any specific terrorist crime. The fundamental rights violated included the following: the right to be informed of the charge if any, the right to be presumed innocent, the right to legal counsel and the right to judicial relief.

Since the “terrorist” listing of the CPP, NPA and myself in 2002, the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations have been paralyzed. The NDFP took the position that the foreign governments that blacklisted the CPP, NPA and myself as “terrorists” had no right to intervene in Philippine affairs and make judgments over Philippine entities and their alleged acts within Philippine territory. The NDFP proposed to the GRP to make a joint statement simply declaring that no foreign government had such right. But the craven puppet reaction of the GRP was to assert the “sovereign right” of the US and other foreign governments to intervene in Philippine affairs.

In 2004 the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels met in Oslo and issued a joint communique in which the two negotiating parties and the RNG as third party facilitator committed themselves to exert joint and separate efforts to seek the removal of the names of CPP, NPA and myself from the “terrorist” blacklist. As soon as the GRP panel returned to the Philippines, the presidential adviser on the peace process issued a statement that foreign governments had the “sovereign right” to make judgments over Philippine entities and acts.

When in August 2005 the NDFP demanded GRP compliance with the JASIG and the Oslo joint communique, the GRP decided to “suspend” indefinitely the JASIG even as this agreement provides that either one or both negotiating parties have only two choices: either respect the effectivity of the JASIG or terminate the entire agreement. The practical effect of the “suspension” was the complete paralysis, if not yet complete death of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

Since 2005 the Arroyo regime had made representations to the Dutch government for my arrest on false charges of murder. In August 2007 the Dutch police arrested me and raided the information office of the NDFP and six residences of NDFP negotiating panelists, consultants and staffers. They took away papers and digital copies of documents related to the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

One after the other, the Dutch District Court of The Hague and the Appellate Court dismissed the false charge of murder against me in 2007 and eventually the Dutch National Prosecution Service dropped its investigation. The Dutch police returned most of the hard and digital copies of the documents they seized. But they did not return one disk containing the most important code and the four related disks were returned but had been corrupted or damaged. These five disks contained the codes for encrypting and decrypting the photos and information deposited in a safety box in a Dutch bank for the benefit of the NDFP consultants, security officers and staffers involved in the GRP-NFP peace negotiations in accordance with JASIG.

After the current Aquino regime replaced the Arroyo regime in June 2010,the GRP and NDFP agreed to meet and resume their negotiations. The GRP recomposed its negotiating panel for the purpose in November 2010. But unfortunately it appointed as presidential adviser on the peace process the same Arroyo factotum, Teresita Deles, who had sabotaged the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations since 2004.

The NDFP negotiating panel and the newly-composed GRP negotiating panel met and issued a joint statement in Oslo in February 2011. The latter panel joined the reaffirmation of all previous agreements in the GRP-NDFP but maliciously insisted on inserting the clause that it had qualifications for signing and that the The Hague Joint Declaration was a “document of perpetual division”, thus attacking the framework agreement which had validated and made possible the peace negotiations.

Despite the negative position of the GRP negotiating panel, the NDFP chief political consultant reiterated to the GRP principal the long standing NDFP offer to the GRP since 2005 for an immediate truce and alliance on the basis of a general statement of common intent to realize full national independence, democracy, social justice and economic development through genuine land reform and national industrialization.

The offer had been made to answer effectively the constant GRP demand for indefinite ceasefire to effect the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces and people. The NDFP chief political consultant averred that the truce and alliance offered by NDFP could be negotiated on a special track, while the regular track would proceed in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration and subsequent agreements.

The GRP boasts that it has no obligation to comply with the JASIG and insists that detained NDFP consultants can seek release only by going through the legal processes of the reactionary government, notwithstanding the falsity of the charges of common crimes which the Arroyo regime had fabricated in its so-called legal offensive of filing false charges of common crimes to tie down and persecute targeted opponents. It would be discovered later on that the Arroyo regime and the Dutch government had connived in using the Dutch prosecution and police to disable the codes for decrypting the photos and information on the JASIG-protected consultants.

The GRP used the aforesaid discovery as further pretext to refuse compliance with the JASIG on the release of detained NDFP consultants even on humanitarian grounds. It also refused to allow the reconstruction of the list of the documents that could not be retrieved due to the destroyed codes. After three years of negotiations between the Aquino regime and the NDFP, not a single NDFP consultant has been released in compliance with the JASIG. And yet the regime has maliciously spread the lie in the mass media that the NDFP negotiates with the GRP only to have the NDFP consultants released and returned to the battlefield.

In June 2012 when the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels met in Oslo again. The most that could be agreed upon was a short paragraph, stating that “meaningful discussions shall continue on the issues raised by the two sides”, without reference to the substantive agenda in the The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees. This short-paragraph agreement is now being interpreted by the Aquino regime as the end of the peace negotiations on the regular track.

After a series of meetings between the NDFP chief political consultant, the GPH presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas and RNG Ambassador Ture Lundh, the GRP and NDFP delegations met in February 2013 supposedly to prepare on the special track for a meeting between the GRP president and the CPP founding chairman in a historic meeting in Hanoi similar to that between the former and the MILF chairman in Tokyo in 2011. The NDFP submitted a draft communique for such meeting and an elaboration of its initial draft Declaration for National Unity and Just Peace, providing for truce and cooperation.

The GRP delegation practically killed the special track by demanding that the truce be in the form of indefinite unilateral and simultaneous ceasefires within the legal framework of the reactionary government and without any kind of substantive agreement mutually beneficial to the two sides and the people. The NDFP delegation expressed the view that such demand made the special track unnecessary and that the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations be resumed to do the work on the substantive agenda stipulated by The Hague Joint Declaration.

In the meantime, the US-Aquino regime continues to engage in state terrorism. This involves the gross and systematic violations of human rights under Oplan Bayanihan, now in the process of surpassing those under Oplan Bantay Laya during the US-Arroyo regime. It does so in contravention of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) by illegally arresting and indefinitely detaining, torturing and murdering persons associated with the NDFP and involved in the peace negotiations and refusing to investigate and in effect condoning cases of violations of the JASIG.

On a far larger scale, violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHIL) include the abduction, indefinite detention, torture and murder of social activists and suspected revolutionaries on false accusations of common crimes, indiscriminate military attacks on entire communities of the urban poor, the peasants and indigenous people, forced mass evacuations and evictions from land and homes.

Prospects of People’s War and Peace Negotiations

Through its presidential adviser on the peace process, its negotiating panel chairman and its presidential spokesman, the Aquino regime has publicly announced that it shall no longer go into any formal talks with the NDFP in both the regular and special tracks of the peace negotiations. It has also announced that it has already informed the Royal Norwegian government (RNG) that it has terminated its peace negotiations with the NDFP. But upon inquiry by the NDFP Negotiating Panel, the RNG denied ever having received any notice of termination.

At the same time, the Aquino regime has announced taking a “new approach”. This refers to the end of the peace negotiations, the escalation of the brutal military campaigns and psychological warfare under the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan. The psywar campaigns have been going on for sometime. It involves faking localized negotiations and fabricating mass surrenders and doling out a part of the graft-ridden Conditional Cash Transfer and PAMANA funds, while most funds are misappropriated and end up in the pockets of the corrupt bureaucrats and military officers.

The US-Aquino regime is hell bent on using brute military in a futile attempt to destroy the revolutionary forces and the people represented by the NDFP. In the process, it will continue to commit gross and systematic violations of human rights.
The violations of civil and political rights include abductions or forced disappearances, illegal arrests and indefinite detention, false charges of common crimes against social activists, torture, extrajudicial killings, massacres and indiscriminate attacks on communities by bombings, strafing and artillery fire. The violations of economic, social and cultural rights include forced mass evacuations, destruction of employment and livelihood, grabbing of the land for the benefit of the foreign corporations and bureaucrat comprador-landlords, ethnocide against the indigenous people, wanton plunder of the natural resources and destruction of the environment.

Under the leadership of the CPP, the NPA is determined and prepared to fight the escalating counterrevolutionary violence and to carry out the plan to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate. We are going to see the intensification of the civil war between the reactionary government of the big compradors and landlords; and the revolutionary government of the workers and peasants. The worsening crisis of the ruling system, the consequent suffering of the people and the absence of peace negotiations make the ground ever more fertile for the spread and intensification of the people’s war.

Because of the extreme anti-national and anti-democratic character of the US-Aquino regime, there is no indication whatsoever that it shall soon agree to resume the peace negotiations and respond positively to the clamor of the advocates of just peace and human rights for the resumption of the peace negotiations. The NDFP still expects that upon the worsening of the crisis of the ruling system and the rise of the people’s revolutionary strength, the possibility will grow that the US-Aquino regime or the succeeding regime will seek the resumption of peace negotiations. ###

 

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