Obligations Under Signed Agreements Must Be Complied With*
Fidel V. Agcaoili
NDFP Negotiating Panel
22 August 2011
Atty. Alexander Padilla, Chairperson of the Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Philippines (GPH), is foolish in hurling false and vicious accusations against the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
The Joint Statements signed in January and February 2011 in Oslo, Norway, between the GPH and the NDFP, clearly stipulate that the GPH shall release most or all of the 17 NDFP personnel protected under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), before the second round of formal talks in June 2011. It is now August 2011 and there are still 13 JASIG-protected individuals in prison.
The GPH is under obligation to comply with signed agreements, if it expects the NDFP to enter into an agreement on social and economic reforms. The GPH must have palabra de honor and release most or all of the JASIG-protected individuals before the rescheduled second round of talks in September which it has itself proposed to the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) in a letter dated 15 July 2011. There is a Tagalog saying that concretely applies to the present situation: ang balasubas ay kailanma'y di mapagkakatiwalaan (one who reneges on agreements can never be trusted).
In shooting down the NDFP offer of truce and alliance, Atty. Padilla has also foolishly misinterpreted the offer given that is based on the Concise Agreement for an Immediate Just Peace. It is obvious that Atty. Padilla is hellbent on scuttling the peace negotiations, both its regular and special tracks.
For the information of Atty. Padilla, the regional authorities of the revolutionary movement have the right to hold Lingig Mayor Henry Dano for investigation for actively participating in military operations against the people. Mayor Dano shall be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the people's democratic government.
Atty. Padilla should stop accusing the NDFP of what the GPH is precisely doing – holding hostage the JASIG-protected individuals to extract concessions from the NDFP or set preconditions for the second round of talks. He should instead recognize the clear obligations of the GPH under signed agreements. But thanks to his foolish talk, the NDFP is now duly forewarned of the malicious intention of the GPH in the peace negotiations.