By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
February 4, 2018

Indeed, it is extremely provocative that the armed minions of Duterte arrest NDFP consultants like Rafael Baylosis who are protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). Rep. Ariel Casilao is honest and well-intentioned in expressing the fear or concern that the unabated arrest of NDFP consultants may prompt the New People´s Army to retaliate and capture GRP panelists, consultants, staffers and security officers. He is actually pressing Duterte to respect the JASIG.

As NDFP Chief political consultant I advice the NDFP to recommend to the CPP and NPA to respect the JASIG as a solemn agreement that protects the negotiating personnel of both the NDFP and GRP. The GRP side, especially Duterte, should cease and desist from arresting NDFP negotiating personnel and from violating the JASIG. It is good to keep open the possibility of resuming the peace negotiations rather than violate the JASIG and undermine confidence in the peace process in a long lasting way.

What the NPA can do in order to compel or persuade the GRP to resume the peace negotiations is to carry out successfully the announced plan of the CPP to intensify tactical offensives against armed units of the AFP, PNP and auxiliary forces and to punish notorious human rights violators, local tyrants, land grabbers, drug lords and other notorious criminals. With or without Duterte as president, the GRP will decide to negotiate peace when the people´s war can inflict larger casualties on enemy troops.

The NPA in 17 regions has actually the capacity of knocking out at least one AFP soldier every day per region. That eliminates at least 510 enemy troops or some 5 companies every month nationwide. That translates to the elimination of some 60 companies or 20 basic battalions every year. The NPA has the advantage of having a just cause and enjoying the support of the people and being able to launch ambushes and raids by surprise. In sharp contrast, the reactionary troops are hated by the people, are exposed to public view and are practically deaf and blind in operations against the NPA most of the time.

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