THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES (NDFP) dared President Benigno Aquino III to ask his peace adviser Teresita Deles and political adviser Ronald Llamas why he did not receive reports on the informal talks between his government and the revolutionary group.
Asked to respond to a Philippine Daily Inquirer article published today that quoted Aquino saying he did not formally receive the reports, NDFP negotiator Fidel Agcaoili said Aquino should ask his advisers about the informal talks that happened in 2012 and not in 2011.
Agcaoili added that the talks were “with the participation of the Norwegian Special Envoy Ture Lundh, from November 2012 to February 2013.”
In an online interview with Kodao, Agcaoili said that the proposal did not come from the NDFP or their chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison but from Llamas.
The peace negotiator added it was made more than a year after the meeting between Aquino and Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s Murad Ebrahim in Tokyo.
“So it’s clear that the NDFP was not envious of Aquino’s meeting with Murad,” he added.
“It is this kind of truth twisting that has separated the Aquino regime from reality and isolated it from the people,” Agcaoili said.
It was the GPH
Agcaoili belied Aquino’s claim that it was the NDFP which walked out of the February 2013 peace negotiations in Amsterdam but the Government of the Philippines (GPH) delegation headed by Llamas and Alex Padilla, chairperson of the GPH peace panel.
In a March 4, 2013 report the NDFP said it was the GPH which scuttled the talks.
The report presented a press communique of the talks held at The Hague, The Netherlands on 17-18 December 2012; a GPH draft of the Common Declaration for National Unity and a Just Peace dated December 17, 2012; an initial NDFP draft of the General Declaration for National Unity and Just Peace dated December 18, 2012; an NDFP draft of the Hanoi Communique of the Delegations of the GPH and the NDFP dated February 23, 2013; a GPH draft of the Declaration of National Unity and a Just Peace dated February 20, 2013; an NDFP draft of the Agreement to Formulate the General Declaration for National Unity and Just Peace dated February 26, 2013; and an initial and partial NDFP draft of a General Declaration for National Unity and Just Peace dated February 26, 2013.
The report said Lundh witnessed the February 26, 2013 document and the press communique on the December 17 and 18, 2012 meetings at The Hague.
The report concluded by accusing the Aquino government of long-paralyzing the peace talks’ regular track “by declaring The Hague Joint Declaration as a document of perpetual division and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees as inoperative and useless in protecting NDFP consultants, staff, security officers and others.”
The Hague Joint Declaration, signed by both parties in 1992, is the so-called framework agreement for the GPH-NDFP negotiations while JASIG, signed by both parties in 1995, provides immunity and safety guarantees to all participants in the peace talks from both sides.
“Deles and her minions have so imbibed the United States State Department’s tricks in using words to redefine reality (like regime change to cover up outright aggression) that they make the preposterous claim that the NDFP’s request to reconstitute the JASIG list is intended to ‘repopulate’ the JASIG,” Agcaoili said.
The Braganza ‘experiment’
The unsuccessful Llamas and Padilla-led GPH team was later replaced by a team headed by former Alaminos, Pangasinan mayor Hernani Braganza which met with the NDFP team in Utrecht, The Netherlands on December 2014.
The talks resulted in the draft “Joint Agreement on the Resumption of the Formal Talks on the Peace Negotiations between the GPH and the NDFP.”
Sison later accused Deles of having “wastebasketted” the proposal.
In a chance interview with Kodao in July 2015 in Makati, Deles said that the informal talks led by Braganza was “just an experiment.”
Deles refused to elaborate, excusing herself from further questions.
Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointed chief negotiator with the NDFP Silvestre Bello III told Kodao that he will Ask Braganza to be part of his team.
Kodao sources said that Braganza has already accepted the appointment.
Braganza still has to respond to Kodao’s questions regarding his appointment and the failure of their draft agreement with the NDFP. #
(Report and photo by Raymund B. Villanueva)