Until formal termination, JASIG and other agreements must remain in effect

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
May 02, 2013

Emendatory note:

Upon advise of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, the CPP clarifies the earlier position expressed in the statement below that the effectivity of the JASIG expires with the termination of formal peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).
As pointed out by NDFP Negotiating Panel Chief Luis Jalandoni, the JASIG stipulates that "All immunities acquired by virtue of this Joint Agreement shall remain in full force and effect even after the termination of this Joint Agreement" (II. Immunity Guarantees, Section 1, par. 5).
In subsequent statements, the CPP underscored the need for the Filipino people and their revolutionary forces to continue asserting the validity of the joint agreements forged between by the NDFP and GPH. In particular, they must demand compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and denounce the GPH and its armed security, police and paramilitary forces for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, with or without formal peace negotiations.
The CPP has also previously declared its continued adherence to such agreements and proclaimed the intention of the New People's Army (NPA) to continue compliance with the provisions of the JASIG and CARHRIHL.

Until there is formal termination of peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Philippine government (GPH formerly designated as GRP), the Communist Party of the Philippines (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 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," added the CPP.

"GPH peace panel member Teresita Deles is lying when she claims that the RNG has already been informed of the termination of the talks when she said that they had 'mutually established' in discussions with the RNG ambassador that the NDFP had supposedly 'killed' the special track and that the GPH is no longer willing to go back to the regular track," said the CPP.

"If the GPH is really no longer interested in the NDFP-GPH peace negotiations, it should formally send correspondence indicating their decision to terminate the NDFPH-GPH peace negotiations," added the CPP. "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 Norweigian Government, which has served as third-party facilitator, is for it to formally inform the NDFP and the RNG, that it is now terminating the talks," pointed out the CPP. "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," said the CPP. "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 NDFP-GPH formal peace negotiations," said the CPP. "The Filipino people denounces the GPH for making malicious claims that the NDFP has imposed preconditions for the resumption of formal peace negotiations."

The CPP said the GPH head negotiator Alex Padilla is "lying through his teeth when he claims that the revolutionary forces demand an end to the GPH'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 CCT 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," added the CPP.

"Neither has the NDFP demanded an end to the GPH's Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression as preconditions for the resumption of formal negotiations," said the CPP. "However, the Filipino people have relentlessly denounced the GPH's attacks against civilians and unarmed supporters and sympathizers of the revolutionary cause as well as other violations against human rights and international humanitarian law committed under Oplan Bayanihan."

"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," pointed out the CPP.

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