Unite against the fascist forces working against peace*
Editorial, Ang Bayan
21 February 2011
The darkest clouds that are dimming the hopes of advancing the long-stalled peace talks are the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and its new Oplan Bayanihan (OPB). Rabidly fascist forces have been relentless in their efforts to obstruct and sabotage the talks.
Every time there is a glimmer of hope that the talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) will be moving forward, forces zealously working against peace undertake moves to obstruct the negotiations. The AFP's fascist generals have the gall to declare themselves as peace advocates in the face of their violations of existing agreements and their efforts to malign the NDFP and its seriousness in pursuing talks with the GPH.
Fascist soldiers and police forces treacherously arrested Comrade Alan Jazmines in Baliuag, Bulacan on February 14. Comrade Jazmines is one of the most well-known leaders of the Communist Party and a leading consultant of the NDFP in the peace talks. In arresting him, the AFP brazenly violated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). Jazmines was arrested by the AFP on the eve of the resumption of formal talks between the NDFP and GPH, virtually dashing the people's hopes of achieving a big step forward in the negotiations.
Comrade Jazmines was captured a few weeks after the AFP's arrest of Tirso "Ka Bart" Alcantara. Ka Bart is one of the leading cadres of the Party and the New People's Army (NPA) in Southern Tagalog and is also a consultant in the peace talks. All in all, 15 NDFP consultants involved in advancing the peace talks have been arrested and jailed by the AFP and PNP. All of them have been slapped with trumped-up criminal charges by the military and police to justify their long-term detention.
The AFP has been boastfully projecting itself as an entity that is beyond the pale of agreements entered into by the GPH and NDFP. It arrogantly declares that "law enforcement" operations by the military and police cannot be suspended during the peace talks. Even during the 19-day ceasefire in December-January, the AFP relentlessly sowed terror through "special operations" in villages within guerrilla fronts, and even had the temerity to call them "peace and development" operations.
The fascist officers of the Aquino regime have absolutely no interest in seeing the peace talks succeed. All they want is to use the talks to deceive the people and cause the capitulation of the revolutionary forces. To military and police officers, peace means nothing but the suppression and defeat of all of the people's armed resistance and mass struggles.
The military's antipeace policy is articulated in the OPB, which is in turn patterned after the US Counterinsurgency Guide whose objective is to maintain US imperialist rule in the Philippines and its other semicolonies by subjugating forces advocating national liberation and people's democracy.
The OPB manifestly shows no interest in attaining a just and lasting peace. Under the OPB, the AFP officers' avowed role with regard to the peace talks is to deprive the NDFP of any advantage in facing the GPH. This only shows that there is no room in the AFP's fascist mindset for the conduct of talks between two equals and for mutual efforts to address the issues that lie at the roots of the civil war.
The AFP has also shown that it will not be bound by any existing or future agreements between the NDFP and the GPH. It thus wants to show the people that nothing significant can come out of the peace taks and to push the NDFP to withdraw from the talks to justify the AFP's continuing intensification of its fascist war against the people.
Everyone must realize that the peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH can only succeed if we can put a stop to the efforts of the rabid fascists within the military and police to sabotage the negotiations. The Aquino regime's policy of unleashing its fascist dogs in the AFP to trample with impunity on all the agreements between the GPH and NDFP, including the JASIG and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) is detrimental to the talks.
The Filipino people are one in their desire to achieve a lasting peace based on justice, and thus support the peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH through their widespread resistance to the fascist forces working against peace.
We must go all-out to expose and resist the AFP's rampage and the hollowness of its slogan of "peace and development." We must resist its fascist terrorism.
The revolutionary forces are aware that the NDFP's negotiations with the GPH can be an effective arena of struggle to attain peace if it is undertaken alongside the people's mass struggles and armed resistance. The people must therefore advance their national and democratic aspirations through all arenas of struggle. It is these aspirations that form the foundations of the peace they desire.