NDFP Negotiating Panel message of solidarity to the gathering and caravan for peace on 2 September 2013

LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
September 1, 2013

The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) conveys its warm greetings of solidarity to the organizers and participants of the Gathering and Caravan for Peace from Quezon City Memorial to Plaza Miranda on 2 September 2013.

We firmly support the initiatives of your newly-born Citizens Alliance for Just Peace (CALL for JUST PEACE) and other peace advocates throughout the country to strive effectively for a just and lasting peace.

A just and lasting peace, as you have declared, requires addressing the root causes of the 44-year-old armed conflict.  It means genuine land reform to respond to the basic aspirations of the peasantry which comprises the vast majority of our population.  It means national industrialization to lift our backward agrarian economy to a developed progressive economy that can provide the needs of the entire population.  It calls for respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.  It necessarily means asserting our national sovereignty and independence.  Today, this means firm opposition to escalating US military intervention, extended US military access, US troops, warships and drones.

The ever worsening economic crisis, caused by the regime's anti-people and anti-national policies, afflicts all sectors of the Filipino people.  This economic crisis, coupled with the political crisis aggravated by the massive pork barrel scandal, underlines the need for negotiating and forging agreements on social, economic and political reforms.  The gross and widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law resulting from the regime's Oplan Bayanihan underscore the urgency of respecting and complying with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

The NDFP is open to continuing the peace negotiations with the Aquino government, despite the latter's declarations to the media that it is terminating the peace talks with the NDFP.  The GPH ignores the requirement in the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) that termination requires written notice by one Party to the other.

The NDFP stands for peace negotiations on the basis of The Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the CARHRIHL and other binding peace agreements.

It is most fitting that the 21st anniversary of The Hague Joint Declaration, signed on 1 September 1992, is celebrated.  The HJD is the framework agreement which allowed both Parties to forge more than a dozen agreements.  It enshrines the principle of non-capitulation and the principles of reciprocity and parity.  It sets the substantive agenda of respect for HR and IHL, socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and end of hostilities and disposition of forces.  The direction and final aim is clear.

The NDFP demands the release of the 430 political prisoners, including the more than a dozen NDFP Consultants and JASIG-protected NDFP personnel illegally arrested and detained by the Manila government in gross violation of the JASIG.

Ka Fidel Agcaoili, Vice-Chairperson and Spokesperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel and Chairperson of the NDFP Monitoring Committee under the CARHRIHL, has been in the Philippines since early July 2013.  A major objective of his is to ascertain the real intent of GPH President Aquino with regards the peace negotiations with the NDFP.

In the following days, Agcaoili will visit NDFP Consultants in Camp Crame and Bicutan detention centers.

We know that your campaign for a just and lasting peace includes the call for the release of political prisoners and JASIG-protected personnel of the NDFP.  We suggest that you visit them, not only those in Metro Manila, but also those in Mindanao, Visayas and provinces in Luzon.  In the Cordillera, you can visit Grayson Naogsan, the son of Cordillera People's Democratic Front (CPDF) spokesperson, Simon “Ka Filiw” Naogsan, in Ifugao, and Kennedy Bangibang, peace consultant for Cordillera and national minority affairs, in Baguio City.

We wish you the utmost success in your creative initiative for a just peace during this Gathering and Caravan for Peace on 2 September 2013.  We assure you and other peace advocates our solidarity and cooperation in our common striving for a just and lasting peace in our country.

ONWARD FOR A JUST AND LASTING PEACE FOR THE FILIPINO PEOPLE!