On the Aquino regime's unilateral termination of peace talks with the NDFP

Communist Party of the Philippines
April 30, 2013

1. The Communist Party of the Philippines decries the Aquino regime's unilateral termination of the peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Philippine government (GPH). By completely abandoning the path of peace negotiations, the Aquino regime has chosen the path of the "purely military approach" which has repeatedly been proven to be a failed strategy in addressing the raging civil war in the Philippines.

2. It is the general policy of the CPP and the revolutionary forces to engage in principled negotiations with any ruling regime that is willing to work with the NDFP to achieve a just and lasting peace. Despite the Aquino regime's unilateral termination of peace negotiations, the CPP and the revolutionary forces remain steadfast in its call for the resumption of formal peace negotiations between the NDFP and GPH with the aim of addressing and resolving the socio-economic roots of the armed conflict.

The CPP and NPA awaits further recommendations of the NDFP Negotiating Panel on the matter of peace negotiations. However, until there is a formal joint termination of the peace talks and unless the Aquino regime makes a formal withdrawal from the signed agreements, the revolutionary forces must continue to assert the validity and binding nature of the previously forged joint documents, including the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the Joint Declaration of The Hague, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and others.

3. Contrary to the media spin of the Aquino regime, the NDFP has never imposed any precondition for the resumption of formal peace negotiations with the GPH. The release of NDFP consultants is an obligation of the GPH under previous agreements, particularly the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). This is a matter of the GPH's word of honor. The GPH's refusal to fulfill its obligation to release the NDFP consultants under the JASIG gives the people no assurance that it will fulfill the obligations it would enter into in the future. The GPH has further refused to undertake the reconstruction of the encrypted list of consultants under JASIG which were stored in computer disks damaged in GPH-supported raid of the NDFP offices in 2007.

4. The NDFP agreed to walk the special track of peace negotiations without precondition. However, in both the December and February round of talks in The Netherlands, Aquino sent representatives who had no authority to sign anything with the special representatives of the NDFP, resulting in failed talks. It further became clear that Malacañang was only interested in setting up a publicity stunt in arranging a meeting between Aquino and NDFP Senior Consultant Jose Ma. Sison in Hanoi, Vietnam with the impossible demand of an indefinite ceasefire and without any clear declaration of principles. On several occasion, Aquino's representatives insisted on watering-down the proposed joint declaration to nothing but an empty piece of rhetoric trash.

5. The CPP and the entire revolutionary movement rejects the Aquino regime's plan to hold so-called localized peace talks. The pursuit of "localized peace talks" further show that the Aquino regimes has no intent of addressing the roots of the armed conflict which stem not from local problems but from the policies of the national government and the perpetuation of the Philippine social system marked by a lack of national sovereignty, widespread landlessness, acute unemployment, low wages, deterioration of public health and education and grave poverty and hunger. Not a single unit of the NPA, committee of the CPP or organs of the NDFP will fall for the Aquino regime's trap of "localized peace talks." This is an old worn-out "divide-and-rule" tactic that has long been discredited. Only the NDFP Negotiating Panel is authorized to engage the reactionary government in peace negotiations.

6. Malacañang dismisses the ideas being espoused by the NDFP and the revolutionary cause as being "outdated", particularly its program for national industrialization. In reality, it is the Aquino regime that is holding on to the archaic ideas of "foreign debt and investment driven development" espoused by the IMF since the 1940s and implemented by IMF-WB-loyal governments, including the Aquino regime. Contrary to claims of being "outdated", the program for national industrialization, in fact, has become increasingly current as the problem of unemployment, underemployment and foreign labor deployment has become acute.

In unilaterally terminating peace negotiations with the NDFP, the GPH has steered away from the debate of "national industrialization" versus "foreign debt and investment driven development" and has resorted to labelling and name calling as a sorry substitute for intellectual argumentation.

7. With the termination of peace negotiations, the Aquino regime and its armed forces is now unencumbered in waging its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression. In January 2011, the Aquino regime declared that it would have decimated the NPA to inconsequence by mid-2013. Clearly, the Aquino regime's Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression is set to fail completely. It is succeeding only in carrying out brutal militarization of rural communities, committing more and more violations of human rights and children's rights and committing sex crimes against women. Aquino's "peace and human rights" rhetorics are a thin veil that seek only to hide the brutalities and fascist crimes being commited against the people.

The left and right tactical offensives being launched by the NPA from Mindanao to Luzon clearly dispute the declarations of the Aquino regime. Aquino and its armed forces are deluding only themselves when they repeat the lie that the NPA has now been reduced to four to five thousand Red fighters from the supposed peak of 26,000 in 1986. The truth is that the previous peak of NPA strength was at 6,500 around 1986-87. In seizing the initiative and intensifying the people's war, the NPA is bound to surpass its former peak strength within the term of the Aquino regime.

8. The CPP calls on the Filipino people to reject the Aquino regime's unilateral termination of peace talks. It urges all peace-loving Filipinos to unite and amplify their call for the resumption of formal peace negotiations on the basis of upholding, respecting and implementing previously signed agreements.