Sunday, January 16, 2011

Resist the ultra-reactionaries and fascists and rally in pursuit of a just and lasting peace- CPP (NDF)

Resist the ultra-reactionaries and fascists
and rally in pursuit of a just and lasting peace*

Communist Party of the Philippines
January 13, 2011

The Filipino people and their revolutionary forces aspire for a just and lasting peace that is based on national sovereignty, democracy and social justice. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) assert that a just and lasting peace cannot be achieved under a system that caters to foreign big corporations and their local big comprador, landlord and bureaucrat capitalist collaborators. Their political, military and economic power is built on a system of oppression and exploitation that consigns the Filipino people to backwardness, poverty, slavery and misery.

The ruling economic and political elite zealously defend the rotten semicolonial and semifeudal system through a combination of violent suppression and deception. To achieve a just and lasting peace, the Filipino people have no other recourse but to wage revolution. They carry out people's war to build their democratic political power and smash the dominance of foreign masters and the ruling elite.

The raging civil war in the Philippines is one between two regimes and forces: the ruling Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and its reactionary forces on the one hand, and the nascent People's Democratic Government of the Philippines as represented by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and its allied revolutionary forces.

While waging armed resistance, the revolutionary forces through the NDFP always remain open to talk peace with the GRP as long as the latter is open to discuss and resolve the basic socio-economic and political issues that are at the root of the current civil war .

For close to 20 years, The Hague Joint Declaration, co-signed by the NDFP and the GRP in 1992, has served as the basic document guiding the peace negotiations. It outlines the objectives, framework, principles and agenda of the peace talks. It enumerates the substantive issues to be addressed: human rights; socio-economic reforms; political and constitutional reforms; and disposition of forces. The resolution of these issues through peaceful settlement would serve as basis for putting an end to the armed hostilities.

The NDFP and all allied revolutionary forces have upheld all previous agreements forged in peace negotiations with the GRP since 1992. This is well marked in the effort of the CPP and NDF to propagate the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)—the product of negotiations on the first substantive agenda signed in 1998—as a basic educational material for all revolutionary forces. In particular, the CARHRIHL now serves as a reference and guide for all NPA Red fighters in the conduct of the revolutionary armed struggle.

The CPP appreciates the prospects of the current breakthrough in the long-stalled negotiations. It is, however, fully aware that the US imperialists, the puppet fascist forces and the diehard reactionaries dominant in the Aquino government are bent on hampering the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations. They may not outrightly be opposing the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations but they constantly attack the side of the NDFP; muddle previous agreements, including the framework and processes of the talks; and propagate the distorted notion that peace negotiations should be premised on ceasefire, and are meant only for the pacification and surrender of the revolutionary armed struggle. They are in constant opposition to the people’s just demands for basic social, economic and political reforms. They denounce the people's armed resistance as an obstacle to peace, while waging brutal military campaigns of counterrevolutionary suppression in the countryside.

They toe the line of the US Counterinsurgency Guide that puts premium on waging psychological warfare and carrying out disinformation and sly political offensives to camouflage and complement the brutal campaigns of military suppression. Their thread is now embossed in the AFP's recently unveiled Oplan Bayanihan which is fundamentally no different from the brutal Oplan Bantay Laya campaign of the AFP under the Arroyo regime.

The fascist military, paramilitary, police and security forces formally recognize but violate with utter impunity ceasefires and other agreements forged in the peace negotiations. The AFP and PNP showed extreme contempt for the simultaneous and concurrent ceasefire declaration of a 19-day ceasefire during the last holiday season, which was made to boost the scheduled resumption of formal peace negotiations as well as to allow the observations of traditions and celebrations. Across the country, they continued to carry out military operations within and around guerrilla fronts. There was no letup in their terror campaigns as well as in the counterinsurgency psywar and intelligence operations in communities suspected to be revolutionary base areas. They treacherously arrested some NPA personnel on the road, making visits and undergoing medication.

Fascist AFP units maliciously launched aggresive military operations aimed to inflict casualties on the revolutionary forces right before the ceasefire period. In Northern Samar, a major target of such massive and intensive operations, the local NPA unit was, however, able to rapidly maneuver and launch a successful counter-offensive that resulted in the annihilation of the attackers.

Continued military operations as well as prepositioning maneuvers by the AFP in areas within and surrounding the guerrilla fronts during the ceasefire period proper made the concurrent ceasefire highly untenable. Still, NPA units were able to hold their fire, and maneuvered to prevent armed encounters up to the last day of the ceasefire period.

After being at a standstill for more than half a decade, the prospect of the resumption of formal peace negotiations with the GRP under the current Aquino presidency is welcome to the revolutionary forces. The CPP and NDFP appreciated the appointment last November to the GRP negotiating panel of personalities who have amicable relations with the revolutionary movement. The preliminary talks last December between the two negotiating panels have been both cordial and fruitful. Since then, the CPP and NDFP have been looking forward to further preliminary talks scheduled soon and the opening of formal talks slated for February in order to proceed with the next substantive agenda that centers on socio-economic issues and reforms.

Since 1998, the NDFP has prepared its draft Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) that lays down proposals for national self-reliance, social justice and the people’s socio-economic and cultural development.

The NDFP’s draft seeks to end the prevailing rotten semicolonial and semifeudal system and the backward, pre-industrial and agrarian economy. The draft seeks to end imperialist domination of the Philippine economy, including the prevailing policies of liberalization, denationalization, privatization and deregulation that promote import-dependence, foreign indebtedness, economic backwardness, mass unemployment, poverty and misery. It seeks to break the land monopoly in the countryside and carrying out the free distribution of land to the tillers.

The prospects of the resumption of formal negotiations, however, are imperilled by the stubborn and continuing GRP violations of past agreements, including the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), as well as the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL).

Despite repeated calls for their release, the GRP has yet to release at least 12 NDFP consultants and other accredited NDFP staffers who have been arrested and detained in blatant violation of the JAS
IG. The CPP, the NDFP and the revolutionary forces reiterate their demand for the GRP to unconditionally and immediately release the detained NDFP peace consultants in order to give way to progress of the peace talks.

The CPP demands the immediate release of NDFP peace consultant, Comrade Tirso Alcantara ("Ka Bart") who was arrested last January 4. Ka Bart is supposed to represent the revolutionary forces in Southern Luzon in the peace talks.

The CPP also demands the immediate release of Eduardo Sarmiento, Eduardo Serrano, Edgardo Sacamay, Glicerio Pernia, Angela Ipong, Jaime Soledad, Randy Malayao, Alfredo Mapano, Jovencio Balweg, and other NDFP consultants who have remained in prison since they were arrested during the previous Arroyo regime. The CPP also asks the Aquino government to resolve the outstanding cases of enforced disappearance of other NDFP peace consultants, including Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid, Rogelio Calubad, and their staff members, carried out in gross violation of the JASIG and CARHRIHL.

If unresolved, these violations of the JASIG, as well as other violations of other agreements, may stall the resumption of formal negotiations.

In accordance with the CARHRIHL, the revolutionary forces also demand the release by the GRP of almost 400 political detainees. The GRP must also finally settle the long-overdue indemnification of the victims of the Marcos dictatorshipThe GRP should prosecute and punish the criminal masterminds and principal perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, harassments and terrorizing of social activist, vocal critics and innocent people. The current ruling regime must also work to undo its predecessor’s connivance with the US and other imperialist powers to falsely and maliciously include the CPP and NPA in those countries’ list of “foreign terrorist organizations.”

The CPP seeks the best that may be achieved through peace talks. However, the Filipino people cannot principally rely on peace negotiations to achieve a just and lasting peace, especially given the duplicity of the GRP and its repeated violations of existing agreements. The revolutionary forces must continue to firmly hold on to their arms, and relentlessly wage people’s war until the puppet reactionary rule is finally replaced and a new democratic order is established.

The CPP urges all peace-loving Filipinos to study the documents of the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations, demand compliance with all agreements, and rally in support of the resumption and progress of the peace talks. At the same time, the CPP calls on the people to be keen against and resist the dogged psywar and disinformation campaign and brutal aggressions waged by the fascists and ultra-reactionaries in the puppet reactionary goverment and armed forces. The CPP calls on the people to unite against the ultra-reactionary demons and fascist forces that keep lashing at the revolutionary forces and detering negotiations for a just and lasting peace.

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