Commentary on Padilla statement

Fidel Agcaoili
Spokesperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
September 6, 2014

On the occasion of the observance of the so-called 11th National Peace Consciousness Month by the Government of the Philippines (GRP/GPH), Alex Padilla, Chairperson of the GRP/GPH Negotiating Panel, issued a statement posted at the website of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Peace Process (OPAPP) and reportedly released on 01 September 2014.

On behalf of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), I submit hereunder a paragraph-by-paragraph commentary on his statement.

But first, let me state that the statement is a clear documentary evidence that the GRP/GPH is not interested in pursuing peace negotiations with the NDFP but is hell-bent on seeking the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary movement.

His message is a sleek, hypocritical and mendacious statement that totally negates The Hague Joint Declaration and other agreements solemnly made between the GRP/GPH and the NDFP before OPAPP Secretary Teresita Deles was able to do her work to sabotage the GRP/GPH-NDFP peace negotiations during the Arroyo and Aquino regimes.

Paragraph-by-Paragraph Commentary

Message of Alexander Padilla, government peace panel chair for talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF:

On the observance of the 11th National Peace Consciousness Month

[Released on September 1, 2014]
Posted on opapp.gov.ph

Peace is a collective aspiration. It is not the task of government alone. It is in solidarity that we aspire for peace; it is also in solidarity that we should work for peace.

Comment: Lip service. Solidarity with whom and for whom? The NDFP cannot have solidarity with the exploiting classes and their political agents who use state terrorism to preserve and aggravate foreign domination, landlordism and bureaucratic corruption and who make a pretense at peace negotiations to demand the surrender of the revolutionary forces and the people at the outset and to ignore the demand of the people for basic economic, social and political reforms as the foundation of a just and lasting peace.

We celebrate this year’s National Peace Consciousness Month aware of the gains of our Government’s peace processes with the different armed groups in the country, but deeply cognizant of the need to move forward in our negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF).

Comment: What gains? OPAPP has turned into a pork barrel racket the recycling of the AFP paramilitary groups like CPLA and RPA-ABB which surrendered to the first Aquino regime in 1986 and the Estrada regime in 1999, respectively. OPAPP has waste-basketed the 1996 peace agreement with MNLF and is on the way to doing the same thing with agreements signed with MILF. Deles and Padilla have proclaimed

The Hague Joint Declaration as a “document of perpetual division” and declared the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) as “inoperative”, practically terminating the peace negotiations. It has wantonly violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

This year’s theme “Nagkakaisang Bayan para sa Kapayapaan,” encourages every Filipino—rebel, soldier, student, housewife, professional—to transcend ideological boundaries and respond positively to our people’s yearning for peace.

Comment: Once more lip service to peace by a brutal and corrupt regime wishing the pacification of the resisting oppressed and exploited people.

Time and again, we have asked the CPP/NPA/NDF to join us in searching for fair and peaceful solutions to the issues that divide us. We have asked them to engage in talks that have a clear agenda and time-table, to talk not just for the sake of talking, but to reach specific agreements that will lessen if not eradicate the violence on the ground.

Comment: It is a big lie for the US-Aquino regime, the OPAPP or anyone to express or imply that there is no clear agenda and no calculable time for making comprehensive agreements. These are in The Hague Joint Declaration, The Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees and additional pertinent documents.

In fact, the first item of the 4-point substantive agenda was finished in a matter of a few months in 1998 and approved by the principals. Only three items are left. But since then every reactionary regime has systematically blocked the negotiation for a comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms.

What the reactionaries are merely interested in is going through the motion of initial negotiations, spreading the rumors of peace, demanding the capitulation and pacification of the people and revolutionary forces and day dreaming about confusing and destroying the revolutionary strength of the people.

They always prematurely ask for indefinite ceasefire to avoid the prior negotiations for social and economic reforms and the needed political and constitutional reforms to implement the social and economic reforms.

History has shown that it is through earnest dialogue, not armed violence, that we can create peace.

Comment: A just and lasting peace is impossible in the Philippines if US imperialist domination, landlordism and bureaucratic corruption persist in the Philippines. The Filipino people will never cease to use all possible and necessary means to end their oppression, exploitation, poverty and misery, especially now that they have the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines as their instruments for national and social liberation.

Government’s doors have always been open to peaceful dialogue; we have not lost hope that we and the communist rebels will return to the table.

Comment: The NDFP has always affirmed that the peace negotiations are going on in principle so long as no side in the negotiations gives a formal notice of termination to the other side in accordance with the JASIG. It is the GPH/GRP side that has refused to sit at the table on the basis of The Hague Joint Declaration and other existing agreements, despite the clamor of the people and the peace advocates.

On this Peace Consciousness Month, let us take the time to reflect on our individual roles in creating peace in our families and communities, and pushing for and sustaining the gains we have already made in creating peace in our country.

Comment: In response to the clamor of the people for justice and peace, the GPH/GRP should return to the negotiating table, end immediately its gross and systematic violation of human rights, and OPAPP should stop being a mere psywar adjunct of the military and a very corrupt part of the pork barrel system, pretending to distribute scores of billions of pesos under such tricky names as Conditional Cash Transfer, PAMANA and the like. In fact, the main beneficiaries of such largesse are the corrupt bureaucrats, military officers and their local agents, including the purported social democrats and Akbayans in the OPAPP and the phony Anti-Poverty Commission.

There is nothing stronger than a nation uniting under a singular aspiration.

Comment: The Filipino nation must unite to realize their common aspiration for national and social liberation and to move against every reactionary regime that serves foreign domination, landlordism and bureaucratic corruption.