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Send us a memo, Reds demand ‘unmannered’ Aquino

I decided to reprint below the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) statement on the collapse of its peace talks with the government, as posted in its website philippinerevolution.net, which would be published also in its official newspaper Ang Bayan. Only by reading the communists’ actual statements would one realize how they are as anachronistic as they are arrogant.

I find the statement even a bit hilarious though. Read it, and you’d get the sense that the Reds really want the peace talks to resume, although they’re squirming to say this, and they’re trying to say that the Norwegian government will get angry if the peace-talks end.

One can sense the CPP’s panic that the end of the peace talks will mean the end of the “Jasig.” That’s the immunity the government has been giving CPP cadres and leaders going in and out of the country or of its guerilla zones. Military sources claim that because of this JASIG, ranking CPP officers have been able to closely supervise their guerillas on the ground and even collect the “revolutionary taxes” gathered by the New People’s Army in remote provinces. The military has been frustrated by the fact that every time they capture a ranking CPP leader, the insurgents claim that he is covered by the JASIG, and more often is released.

Rather comical is how the Reds are clinging to straws by claiming that the peace talks aren’t ended yet since the government of President Aquino hasn’t formally informed them, reflecting his “great discourtesy and lack of manners.” It seems the peace talks had gone into the communists’ heads that they think that they are a sovereign government. I hope some intrepid reporter asks Ang Bayan senatorial candidate—allegedly a CPP cadre assigned to the “legal struggle” —what he thinks about the collapse of the peace talks. I’d bet he would be echoing the following CPP statement:

“Until there is formal termination of peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Philippine government (GPH), the CPP maintains the position that joint agreements forged in over 20 years of negotiations should remain in effect and be respected by both sides.

The CPP identified the joint agreements as The Hague Joint Declaration of 1990, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) of 1998, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and other critical agreements “that were forged through difficult negotiations and which serve as hallmarks of the determination of the NDFP and past Philippine governments to work through differences and unite on matters of crucial importance to the Filipino people.

Over the past few days, the Aquino government and its peace negotiators have publicly declared that it is no longer going back to the negotiating table to face the NDFP in either the regular track of formal peace negotiations or the special track of forging a ceasefire agreement on the basis of a declaration for democracy, social justice and national sovereignty.

In light of the recent bellicose statements of the GPH effectively terminating the NDFP-GPH peace negotiations, the CPP and the NDFP awaits a formal notification from the GPH terminating the formal peace negotiations.

GPH peace panel member Teresita Deles is lying when she claims that Norway has already been informed of the termination of the talks. If the GPH is really no longer interested in peace negotiations, it should formally send correspondence indicating their decision to terminate the negotiations.

Aquino is showing great discourtesy and lack of manners when it unilaterally terminates the talks relentlessly pursued over the past 20 years through irresponsible statements issued through the media.

The least that the GPH should do, in cognizance and respect for the efforts of the past Philippine governments and the Royal Norwegian Government, which has served as third-party facilitator, is for it to formally inform the NDFP and Norway that it is now terminating the talks. Peace negotiations are a two-sided interactive process. To end it, one side must formally inform the other that it is no longer interested in talks.

With a formal termination, both sides can make clear its stand as to the status of the previous agreements, and whether further mechanisms should be put into place for the enforcement of these agreements. This is particularly important for the CARHRIHL and the JASIG.

It is reprehensible that Aquino’s officials have resorted to blatant lies in their vain effort to justify their act of terminating the formal peace negotiations. The Filipino people denounce the government for making malicious claims that the NDFP has imposed preconditions for the resumption of formal peace negotiations.

Government negotiator Alex Padilla is lying through his teeth when he claims that the revolutionary forces demand an end to the government’s so-called ‘poverty alleviation’ programs as precondition for the resumption of formal peace negotiations.

Never did the NDFP assert that peace negotiations should be preconditioned on putting an end to the conditional cash transfer program or the GPH’s Pamana programs, which are, of course, nothing but worn-out counter-insurgency schemes designed by the US military and funded by the World Bank.

The demand for the NDFP to release all NDFP peace consultants is not a matter of precondition, but a matter of obligation of the GPH under the JASIG.

On the contrary, it is the GPH that has insisted that it will only resume formal talks if the revolutionary movement agrees to surrender its armed resistance through an indefinite ceasefire. Over twenty years of peace negotiations have proven that critical agreements can be forged even if there is a raging civil war.”