National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said there may no longer be peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) under Rodrigo Duterte, accusing both the president and the military of making the process impossible.
Responding to yet another Duterte declaration that he is still open to resuming the negotiations, Sison said the revolutionary forces may spend their time better by concentrating on intensifying their “people’s war.”
In a campaign sortie in Tuguegarao City Tuesday, Duterte again appeared to have changed his mind and said he is still open to peace negotiations with the NDFP.
“Kayong mga NPA (New People’s Army), kung gusto talaga ninyo ng usapang matino, [you declare] immediate ceasefire. Walang magdala ng armas sa kampo ninyo o sa labas, walang taxation, walang pangsunog,” Duterte said. (You, NPA, if you really want to seriously talk, declare an immediate ceasefire. Do not bring arms within and outside your camps, do not impose taxation and do not go around burning.)
He also again invited Sison to come home from The Netherlands to resume peace negotiations.
“Umuwi ka dito, Sison. Ako ang bahala sa iyo. Hindi ako traydor na tao. I give you my honor, word of honor. Mag-usap tayo,” Duterte said, adding however that he could not talk about a coalition government with the Left. (You come home. I will take care of you. I am not a traitor. We will talk.)
“Pero nothing about coalition government. You can never have even an iota of a sovereign powers of the Republic of the Philippines. I am not allowed to do that. Kaya itong mga sundalo mag-coup d’etat ito. Ako pa ang mamatay,” Duterte said. (These soldiers might stage a coup d’etat and kill me.)
But Sison said a resumption of the talks may be impossible at present, saying Duterte military have rendered negotiations impossible by doing the following:
- Duterte has formally terminated the peace negotiations with the NDFP with Proclamation 360.
- He has designated the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) and the NPA as terrorist.
- He has rejected the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations stipulated by The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Sequence, Formation and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees.
- He has wantonly violated the safety and immunity guarantees under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) by ordering the arrest of NDFP consultants and their murder if there are no witnesses, as in the case of Randy Malayao.
- He has unilaterally scrapped the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and has dismantled the GRP section of the Joint Monitoring Committee.
- He has unleashed his military and police dogs to red-tag, frame up and kill at will social activists and suspected revolutionaries in his all-out war and pursuit of fascist dictatorship.
Sison added the military also actively interfered to stop the peace negotiations for the following reasons:
- The GRP negotiating panel cannot obtain the surrender of the armed revolutionary movement of the people through a protracted and indefinite ceasefire and
- the NDFP negotiating panel is gaining credit for pushing social, economic and political reforms to address the roots of the armed conflict.
Sison recalled that since The Hague Joint Declaration of September 1, 1992, the most “reactionary diehards in the military” have always acted to shorten the peace negotiations under every GRP administration.
“Under the pressure of the military, Duterte has terminated and practically killed the peace negotiations since he issued Proclamation 360 on November 23, 2017,” Sison said, adding the president has proceeded to drive more nails into the coffin of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.
Sison also dismissed GRP’s localized peace negotiations scheme as patently false, saying no revolutionary would ever fall for its trap.
He added that it is actually favorable for the revolutionary forces to fight an openly tyrannical Duterte regime as in the time of the deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Sison also dismissed Duterte’s invitation for him to come home, saying his time is better spent on research, writing and publishing “without being distracted by back channel talks and flip-flops by the mentally, politically and morally deranged Duterte.” # (Raymund B. Villanueva)