Video Message to the Peace Forum, Davao City, June 28, 2016
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
We of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) convey our warmest greetings of solidarity and peace to the Exodus for Justice and Peace and BAYAN-SMR, Bishops Modesto D. Villasanta, Redeemer Yanez and Felixberto Calalang, all the officials of the Philippine government headed by the new President Rodrigo Duterte, the new OPAPP Secretary Hon. Jesus Dureza and the representatives of the Negotiating Panels of the GPH and NDFP and all the delegations presenting the Mindanao People’s Agenda.
We are all deeply pleased in this Forum for Peace with the participation of people from various walks of life, including the workers, peasant, Lumad, Moro, women, children, urban poor, youth, business, academe, artists, health professionals, church people, transport, fisherfolk, athletes, LGBT, senior citizens and others. We are all grateful to the tens of thousands of people participating in the People’s Concert and People’s March for Peace on June 27 and 18.
We can be sure that the spirit of the patriot and revolutionary hero Ka Parago, Comrade Leoncio Pitao, whose martyrdom is commemorated today, is present in all our mass activities for peace inasmuch as we are inspired by his lifelong struggle for a just and lasting peace. He fought hard, made sacrifices and died for the just cause of seeking fundamental reforms to make a new and better Philippines that is truly independent, democratic, socially just, peaceful and progressive in an all round way.
Let us all unite for a just and lasting peace. This can be attained by addressing the roots of the armed conflict and forging the comprehensive agreements on major social, economic and political reforms. Since The Hague Joint Decalaration of 1992, the aim of the peace negotiations and methods of achieving it have been set forth. But the previous administrations of Estrada, Arroyo and Aquino lacked the political will to overcome their reactionary interests and use their power and resources to advance the peace process.
Let us take advantage of a new situation in which the worsening crisis of the ruling system, the growing strength of the people’s revolutionary movement and the failures of previous administrations have brought about a president who is courageous and proud to say that he is the first Left president of the Philippines and is willing to adopt and implement the necessary reforms for a just and lasting peace. By all manifestations, he is open to the making of mutually satisfactory agreements that serve the best interests of the Filipino p[eople.
We are all elated by the success of the preliminary talks of the teams of the incoming Duterte government and the NDFP in Oslo last June 14 and 15. The formal talks by the GPH and NDFP negotiating panels shall be resumed in the third week of July in Oslo. The agenda includes the affirmation of previously signed agreements, the plan to accelerate the peace negotiations on the three remaining items of the substantiove agenda, the release of all political prisoners by general amnesty and the mode of ceasefire.
Let us congratulate the broad masses of the people and all the peace-loving organizations and leaders of various sectors who have campaigned for the resumption of formal talks. Let us look forward to the success of the first formal talks in the time of the Duterte government. The success of these will lead to further hard work by the principals, negotiators, consultants, ceasefire monitors and other focused personnel of the negotiating parties and to further inputs and support from all the peace-loving forces and people.
We welcome the movement for peace undertaken by the Exodus for Justice and Peace amd BAYAN-SMR in Mindanao and all other forces on a nationwide scale. Campaigns must be waged for public participation in promoting and realizing the people’s agenda for change. The various sectors of the people must be aroused, united and mobilized to submit proposals to the negotiating panels and support the peace process in as many ways as possible. The movement for peace can be energized by public meetings, informative and educational forums, multi-media publications and cultural activities.
Two days from now, the presidency of Rodrigo Roa Duterte shall be inaugurated. We wish him to succeed in all his efforts to serve the Filipino people, respond to the demands for full national independence, democracy, social justice and all -round development and perform his crucial role in achieving a just and lasting peace. Let this Forum for Peace be a celebration of Ka Parago’s desire for justice and peace and be a happy and meaningful send off for President Duterte.
Long live the memory of the patriot and hero Ka Parago!
Long live President Duterte!
Best wishes to all who work for the advance and success of the peace process!
Long live the cause of a just and lasting peace!
Long live the Filipino people!