Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let us commence discussing concrete proposals long put forward by the NDFP-CPP

Let us commence discussing concrete proposals
long put forward by the NDFP-CPP*

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
July 27, 2010

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has long put forward substantive and concrete proposals for socio-economic and political reforms and challenged the Aquino government to immediately compose its counterpart negotiating panel and appropriate subcommittees in order to commence discussion on these draft agreements and the rest of the peace agenda in line with agreed upon procedures.

At the same time, the CPP cautioned the Aquino government against forcing the issue of an immediate ceasefire agreement which is premature at this stage when talks have yet to resume. The CPP said that this should be duly taken up in the later stage of the peace negotiations as substantive agreements are made in accordance with the agenda.

This was the reaction of the CPP to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III's call on the revolutionary forces to agree to an "immediate ceasefire." and "put forth concrete solutions rather than pure criticism and finger-pointing." Aquino made the call during his state of the nation address yesterday.

"The NDFP has long declared its willingness and readiness to engage the Aquino regime in peace negotiations. The NDFP negotiating panel and its subcommittees continue to function and await only the next steps of the Aquino government," said the CPP. "Negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) will prosper as long as both sides seriously work hard to come up with mutual agreements addressing the socio-economic and political roots of the armed conflict."

Among the principal documents signed by the GRP and NDFP are The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 which sets the principles, framework and sequence of agenda of the talks, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed in 1995 and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed in 1998.

The CPP explained that the signing of the CARHRIHL comprises the completion of the first of the four-part substantive agenda of the peace talks. Discussions on the second part of the negotiations which covers social and economic reforms have long been stalled after the Arroyo government threw one monkey-wrench after another at the peace negotiations in order to justify launching its allout war of terror during the entirety of its reign from 2001 to 2010.

The CPP said that "The Arroyo regime unilaterally suspended the JASIG; carried out the abduction and forced disappearance of Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid and a number of other NDFP peace consultants and staff members; filed trumped-up murder charges against NDFP senior consultant Jose Ma. Sison to cause his arrest and detention in 2007; and persecuted, arrested and illegally detained several other consultants as well as other critics of the reactionary government. The Arroyo regime earlier also colluded with the US and other imperialist governments to have the CPP, NPA and Prof. Sison included in the "foreign terrorists" listing of the US and European Union in a desperate effort to defame the Philippine revolution, hinder the peace process and pave the way for its war of terror.

"For peace negotiations to prosper under Aquino, he simply must commit to uphold all previously signed agreements and undertake concrete measures to undo the harm caused by the actions of the previous regime and to enhance the process," said the CPP.

At the same time, the CPP advised Aquino "to abide by the agreed upon agenda and discuss the matter of ceasefire in its proper time when fundamental questions of social, economic and political reforms have been forged and start to be operational."

"If Aquino is really interested in effecting a ceasefire the soonest, he can have the peace process hastened in an agreement with the NDFP on the Concise Agreement to End Civil War and Achieve Just Peace put forward as a proposal by the NDFP National Council in 2005," added the CPP. The proposed agreement "lays the basis for the early attainment of truce and just peace on the basis of mutual agreement on principles and policies upholding national independence and democracy and common efforts to resolve the basic political, socio-economic and other problems of the Filipino people."