By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
5 February 2005
GRP President Arroyo is interested merely in ceasefire to pacify the Filipino people’s democratic revolution. It is not at all interested in serious peace negotiations to address the roots of the armed conflict and arrive at comprehensive agreements on economic, social and political reforms towards a just peace within the framework already established in The Hague Joint Declaration and subsequent agreements.
The stratagem of the US imperialists and the Filipino puppets, especially the military and the clerico-fascists, is to inveigle the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) into a prolonged and indefinite ceasefire, intensify military, police and paramilitary assaults against the revolutionary forces and people and preoccupy the NDFP with charges of ceasefire violations in order to lay aside the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations and preoccupy the revolutionary.
The proposal to precondition the resumption of the formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations with a ceasefire agreement is a brazen move to violate The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees.
These agreements mutually approved by the GRP and NDFP stipulate that the end of hostilities and redisposition of forces can be reached only after comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms and also political and constitutional reforms are approved by the principals of the negotiating parties. The GRP should stop proposing the violation of existing agreements.
For the sake of argument, if the GRP gets a prolonged or indefinite ceasefire agreement, it will get the license to avoid the prior need to address the roots of the armed conflict and negotiate reforms. It shall keep on taking the initiative to attack the people and revolutionary forces physically and then blaming the revolutionary forces for ceasefire violations. Look at what the GRP is doing against the MILF. It keeps on physically attacking the MILF despite a ceasefire agreement.
The NDFP itself is not a stranger to the ceasefire stratagem and related tricks of the GRP. These were undertaken by the GRP in 1986 and 1987 and emboldened the armed forces of the GRP to attack the revolutionary forces and people. At the same time, the GRP harped on the line that sincerity in peace negotiations is proven by the willingness of the revolutionary forces to accept pacification and capitulation through prolongation of the ceasefire.
The GRP is insulting the NDFP, the revolutionary forces and the people by offering a more deadly poison (prolonged or indefinite ceasefire which is pacification and capitulation) in exchange for another poison (“terrorist” listing which can be renewed anytime anyway). Brilliant self-delusion of the GRP in negotiating with itself. But the peace negotiations are supposed to be about the substantive issues in the proper sequence, stupid! ###