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CPP accuses gov’t of violating own ceasefire order in Rizal clash

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) accused the Rodrigo Duterte government of violating its own unilateral ceasefire declaration following an encounter between the Philippine Army (PA) and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Rodriguez, Rizal last March 28, Saturday.

CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena said in a statement issued today, March 30, that based on Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reports themselves, the armed clash broke out when 80th Infantry Battalion troops of the PA’s 2nd Infantry Division carried out patrol operations.

An AFP conflict alert report was sent to Kodao by CPP founding chairperson Jose Maria Sison, purported to be obtained by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines from sources within the military proving it was the aggressor in the incident in Barangay Puray of the said town.

The report said that a team led by one Staff Sargeant Angot conducted community defense patrol at the vicinity of Sitio Malasya Uyungan where they encountered around 30 NPA fighters at around three o’clock in the afternoon.

The report said the clash lasted for about 40 minutes that resulted in the killing of a government trooper and the wounding of two others.

The killed soldier was a corporal while the two injured were a sergeant and a private.

The report claimed one rebel fighter was killed and that the government soldiers recovered an M16 rifle, a rifle grenade, a jungle pack with personal belongings, two empty bandoliers, a NPA flag, documents, medical paraphernalia, and water gallons.

The report added that the team recommended to “move forces to block the possible withdrawal routes of the rebels.”

The unit also requested an helicopter for an immediate evacuation of the casualties.

In a statement, the AFP’s Public Affairs Office said the soldiers were in the vicinity to conduct “community work,” contrary to what the report indicated that its unit conducted the patrol “acting on the information from concerned citizens.”

The NPA for its part did not confirm that it suffered a casualty in its statement.

Valbuena however said the AFP’s claim that the concerned NPA unit was planning an attack was baseless.

He said all NPA units will continue to uphold the CPP’s ceasefire declaration “in order to give full play to efforts to extend public health service to the people amid the Covid-19 (corona virus disease) pandemic.”

The CPP’s Central Committee declared a unilateral ceasefire declaration last March 24 in response to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ appeal that all warring parties temporarily lay down their arms to focus on the global fight against Covid-19. It is effective until April 15 when the government’s own truce order expires.

The Duterte government declared its unilateral ceasefire order last March 18 effective 00:00 hour of March 19 to 24:00 hours of April 15.

Valbuena clarified that the NPA will not mount armed actions against government military, police, paramilitary and other armed agents but will remain alert against offensive actions launched by AFP units.

“The Party assures AFP soldiers that they will not be attacked during the ceasefire period especially if they are conducting public health activities in relation to efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19,” Valbuena said.

The CPP spokesperson urged AFP units to concentrate on Covid-19 operations and refrain from conducting anti-NPA patrol operations which may result in armed contact with nearby NPA units.

“At this time, the Filipino people need all the help they can get to surmount the threat of Covid-19,” he said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

‘An example across the world,’ UN says of CPP’s ceasefire order

The United Nations (UN) welcomed the temporary ceasefire order of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), saying the group’s positive response to the call for a global ceasefire in the face of the corona virus disease (Covid-19) pandemic “will serve as an example across the world.”

In a statement, Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said they welcome the truce order issued by the CPP last Tuesday, March 24, against Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) armed forces.

“The Secretary-General (Guterres) encourages the parties to reach a lasting political solution and end this longstanding conflict,” Dujarric added, referring to the 51-year revolution led by the CPP.

The CPP is the first belligerent force in the world to respond to Guterres’ appeal issued last March 24.

UN’s statement on its website.

NDFP Negotiating Panel chairperson Fidel Agcaoili said the revolutionary forces in the Philippines deeply appreciates the UN recognition.

“We deeply appreciate the recognition extended by the UN Secretary General for the initiative of the revolutionary movement and the CPP to respond to his call for a global ceasefire in humanity’s common fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” Agcaoili told Kodao in an online interview.

The CPP’s unilateral ceasefire order to all units and commands of the New People’s Army and the People’s Militias took effect starting midnight of today, Thursday, March 26 and ends on 23:59 of April 15.

The GRP earlier said NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison’s advise for the CPP and its forces to observe its own ceasefire during the pandemic “is a positive development.”

The GRP earlier declared a unilateral ceasefire against the CPP, the NPA, and the NDFP effective 00:00 hour of March 19 to 24:00 hours of April 15, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced Wednesday evening, March 18. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NDFP may respond to UN appeal for ceasefire, Joma advises

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel may recommend for a unilateral ceasefire declaration in response to the United Nation’s (UN) appeal for a global truce during the corona virus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, Jose Maria Sison said.

Sison said he is advising the NDFP peace panel to recommend to its principal, the NDFP National Council, the issuance of a unilateral ceasefire declaration by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to the New People’s Army (NPA) in response to UN secretary general Antonio Guterres’ call for a global ceasefire.

“The NDFP and the broad masses of the people themselves need to refrain from launching tactical offensives to gain more time and opportunity to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and to look after the health and over-all welfare of the people in both urban and rural areas,” Sison said.

“The world must know that long before the belated quarantine declarations and repressive measures of the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines), the NDFP and the revolutionary forces have been informing, training and mobilizing the people on how to fight the pandemic,” he added.

Guterres called for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world last Monday, March 23, saying it is time for humankind to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together “on the true fight of our lives.” 

Guterres asked the warring parties to pull back from hostilities, silence the guns, stop the artillery and end the airstrikes. “This is crucial to help create corridors for life-saving aid, open windows for diplomacy and bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to #COVID19,” he said.

Sison said the UN’s appeal is what the revolutionary forces in the Philippines may respond to, instead of the “bogus unilateral ceasefire declaration of the GRP.”

He warned that reciprocating President Rodrigo Duterte’s ceasefire order may appear as “directly condoning and becoming complicit in the criminal culpabilities of the Duterte regime for allowing the Covid-19 to spread nationwide since January, for making no preparations against the pandemic and for making lockdowns on communities and yet failing to provide mass testing and treatment of the sick, food assistance and compensation for those prevented from work.”

The GRP declared a unilateral ceasefire against the CPP, the NPA, and the NDFP effective 00:00 hour of March 19 to 24:00 hours of April 15, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced Wednesday evening, March 18.

Sison further advised that while the NPA can cease and desist from launching tactical offensives, it must be vigilant and be ready to act in self-defense against any tactical offensive launched by GRP military, police and paramilitary forces against its own guerrilla fronts.

He added that the GRP has persisted in launching tactical offensives and bombing of communities in the countryside as well as campaigns of red tagging, abductions and murder in the urban areas against civilians, justifying NDFP’s desistance from reciprocating Duterte’s ceasefire offer.

NDFP Negotiating Panel chairperson Fidel Agcaoili told Kodao that they shall submit their recommendation to their National Council soon. # (Raymund Villanueva)

CPP reveals Baguio raid victim was top leader, vows justice

GENEVA, Switzerland—A victim of the Baguio City raid last Friday, March 13, turned out to be a top leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), statements by the underground revolutionary movement in the Philippines revealed.

In a statement, the CPP said Julius Giron, one of the victims in the early morning raid, was a stalwart of the Party’s Central Committee, its Political Bureau and Executive Committee member who served the party’s central organs over the past three decades.

The underground group said Giron played a key role in reconstituting the Party’s leadership in 2014 when alleged CPP chairperson Benito Tiamzon and secretary general Wilma Tiamzon were arrested in Cebu province.

It said Giron brought together more than a hundred Party cadres to hold the Party’s Second Congress in 2016 when he was elected to the CPP’s Central Committee, its Political Bureau and as one of the key officers of its Executive Committee.

The government announced Giron’s killing, along with one Lourdes Tan Torres/Ma. Lourdes Dineros Tangco and an unnamed aide in a joint military and police operation at about 3:30 AM in Barangay Queen of Peace in Baguio City last Friday.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claimed Giron and companions “resisted arrest, prompting authorities to retaliate in a search warrant operation.”

The CPP however said there was no fire fight and the raiding party fired at the victims at close range in an execution-style killing.

“Claims made by the military and police that they were about to serve an arrest warrant are outright lies. It was a liquidation operation, a massacre, carried out at 3 a.m. with the clear aim of assassinating Giron and eliminating all witnesses,” the CPP said.

“The entire Party and all revolutionary forces are enraged over the murder of Ka Nars,” the group added.

Stellar revolutionary career

The CPP said Giron was among the young cadres who pioneered revolutionary work in the Cordilleras and other Northern Luzon regions in the 1970s.

The group said Giron helped forged Igorot unity, and in rousing, organizing and mobilizing the national minority groups in resisting national oppression, defense of their ancestral land, and in their fight for autonomy.

Giron was in the Cordilleras during the people’s epic struggle against the Chico River Dam Project, the CPP revealed.

CPP founding chairperson Jose Maria Sison gave Giron high praises in a statement Tuesday, March 17, revealing the victim, like him, received religious tutelage from his mother and served as a sacristan to the Catholic priests in his grade school days.

Sison said Giron was a bright and sociable person in high school with plenty of friends.

“He was charismatic because he was intelligent and had a talent for singing and dancing. He also excelled at numbers and hoped to become an engineer. He enrolled in the course of Engineering in the University of the Philippines in Baguio but was able to finish only the first two years because of his heavy responsibilities as a leading activist,” Sison wrote.

He added that Giron joined the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) in 1970 and was a product of the First Quarter Storm (FQS) of 1970. Giron led the KM in Baguio City during the FQS.

“He often delighted and inspired the mass protests by reciting Amado Hernandez’s ‘Kung Tuyo Na ang Luha Mo, Aking Bayan’ to the music of ‘Ang Gabing Mapanglaw’. He helped build the Samahan ng mga Anak Pawis (SaAnPa) in Baguio City in 1970. He became an outstanding activist of the national democratic movement as he engaged in organizing workers in the transport, energy, and mining sectors,” Sison recalled.

Sison added that Giron became a member of the CPP in 1971 and assumed major responsibilities, serving with its Trade Union Bureau, participating in the organization of the CPP’s Northern Luzon Regional Party group, being designated a staff member of the Instructor’s Bureau of the CPP under the Education Department, and serving as team leader of an armed propaganda unit in Ifugao province.

Giron then went to Isabela province to instruct Political Officers of the New People’s Army (NPA) for regional and national deployment.

Giron during CPP’S Second National Congress in an undisclosed location in 2016. (CPP photo)

“As Founding Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines and Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, I honor Comrade Julius Soriano Giron with the Red salute and express the highest respect and commendation for his martyrdom and for his long record as a communist leader and revolutionary fighter in the Filipino people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy,” Sison said.

He also condoled with his late comrade’s family and to all of Giron’s comrades, relatives and friends.

“I share with them profound grief over his demise and at the same the pride and joy for his lifelong and fruitful service to the people in their noble cause and struggle for national and social liberation from foreign monopoly capitalism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism,” Sison said.

“Comrade Julius served the people in the best way that he could and in the most exemplary way, died as a martyr and will therefore live forever in the hearts and minds of the people and in the continuance of the people’s democratic revolution with a socialist perspective. His murder in the hands of the armed minions of the traitorous, tyrannical, genocidal, corrupt and mendacious [Rodrigo] Duterte regime outrages the people and incites them to intensify their revolutionary struggle,” Sison said.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Peace Negotiating Panel, its consultants, personnel and staff also extended condolences to the comrades, family, relatives and friends of Giron and his two companions.

“While in detention during the years of the Marcos dictatorship, we came to know of Comrade Julius’ artistry.  He was a good painter and headed the painting group inside prison. Indeed, his deep love for the Cordillera people is reflected in his paintings and poetry which are on display in his wake,” NDFP chief negotiator Fidel Agcaoili said.

“We render the highest salute to Comrade Julius for his selfless commitment and lifelong dedication to the revolutionary movement of the people for national freedom, democracy, social justice and genuine peace,” Agcaoili said.

Peace consultant

Agcaoili revealed that Giron was one of NDFP’s senior consultants in the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines)-NDFP peace talks on social, economic and political reforms, as well as end of hostilities and disposition of forces and was in fact designated as National Consultant Number 1.

“He was holder of Document of Identification (DI) number 978410 under the name of Arnold Cruz as National Consultant 1, which entitled him to protection and immunity under the JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees),” Agcaoili said.

“The martyrdom of Comrade Julius and his companions inspires us even more to firmly pursue the Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation and for genuine and lasting peace,” he added.

The CPP said it will exact justice on Giron’s killers.

“Giron was, in fact, murdered in cold blood. The perpetrators and masterminds of the assassination of the Girons are criminals. The Party and revolutionary movement will make sure that they will pay for their crime,” it said.

Giron was convalescing in Baguio due to illnesses brought about by his advanced age, the CPP said. He was 70 years old. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: COVID-19 at si Duterte

Panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison sa pamamagitan ni Prof. Sarah Raymundo ng BAYAN National hinggil sa COVID-19 at paano hinaharap ito ng pamahalaang Duterte.

______________________________________________________________________________

ITANONG MO KAY PROF

TOPIC: Covid-19

March 18, 2020

SARAH: 

Opening: Kamusta sa ating mga tagapakinig! Sana ay nananatili tayong ligtas at nasa maayos na disposisyon sa gitna ng krisis pangkalusugan na dala ng   bagong Corona Virus Disease na lumitaw noong 2019 o COVID-19. Sa mga nakaraang araw, nasaksihan at naranasan natin ang pagkadeklara ng COVID-19 bilang isang global pandemic, ibig sabihin ay kumakalat ito sa maraming bansa sa buong mundo. Isa sa mga dumagdag sa ating ligalig ay walang iba kundi ang naging tugon ng gobyernong Duterte rito.

Marami ang hindi naaabot ng ayuda ng gobyerno, o halos walang ayuda, matumal at hindi malinaw ang impormasyon hinggil sa COVID-19.  Minarapat natin dito sa Itanong Mo Kay Prof na makasama kayong muli lalong-lalo na ang ating mga mahal na tagapakinig sa kanayunan at maralitang lungsod, na nananatiling kumakayod sa harap ng COVID-19.

Hindi nga ba, kung hindi lumalabas at magtatrabaho, walang gobyernong Duterte ang susuporta sa gitna ng kinakaharap nating sakuna? 

Pag-uusapan at uunawain din natin ang nangyayari sa atin at sa buong mundo kasama na ang ilang mga hakbang na kaya nating pagtulungan. Kagaya ng lagi, kasama natin ang Chairperson Emeritus ng International League of Peoples’ Struggle at Chief Peace Consultant ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines si Professor Jose Maria Sison dito sa Itanong Mo Kay Prof. 

Kamusta sa inyo, Prof. Joma?!

JMS: Maalab na makabayang pagbati sa inyo Prop. Sarah Raymundo at sa lahat ng ating kababayan. 

Mga Tanong:

SR1: Prof Sison, ipaliwanag muna natin sa ating mga tagapakinig kung ano nga ba itong tinatawag na coronavirus o Covid-19.

JMS:  Ang Covid-19 ay isang tipo ng sakit sa anyo ng virus na lumitaw  sa Wuhan, China noong Disyembre 2019 at nailathala ito bilang epidemya sa Wuhan noong Enero 2020. Ang mga mayor na sintomas nito ay lagnat,  ubong tuyo, hiráp sa paghinga at bulós. Nauuwi ito sa pneumonia na puedeng humantong sa kamatayan para sa 2 hanggang 5 por syento sa mga nagkakasakit ng Covid-19 sa ibat ibang bansa. 

Mabilis makahawa ang virus na ito sa mga tao sa pamamagitan ng paghawak sa iba at paghawak sa hinawakan ng maysakit o may dala ng virus.  Pinakabulnerable ang matatanda at  dati nang  may sakit sa baga.  Madaling kumalat bilang epidemya sa isang bansa tulad sa Tsina kung saan nagsimula.

At dahil sa mga byaherong may dala ng sakit, kumalat na ang virus sa higit ng 160 countries at naging pandemya o epidemya sa maraming bansa. Ayon sa Worldometer noong Marso 18, 198, 739 na ang nagkasakit sa Covid-19, 107,971 ang recovered at 7,989 ang patay.   Kabilang sa mga bansang may pandemya ng Covid-19 ay Tsina, Italy, Iran, South Korea, España, Estados Unidos  at iba pa.

Unang nahalata ang virus sa Pilipinas noon pang Enero nang namatay sa virus na ito ang matandang lalake sa mag-asawang  turistang Tsino.  Nahawa pa ang ilang Pilipinong doktor na nag-asikaso sa kanila. Ayon sa Department of Health (DOH) noong Marso 18, 193 na ang  nagkasakit sa Covid-19, 14 ang namatay at 4 ang recovered sa kanila. Hindi tumpak ang mga bilang na ito dahil sa kumalat na ang sakit sa buong Pilipinas sa nakaraang dalawang buwan at kung kailan lamang nag-umpisa ang bilangan sa mangilan-ngilang lugar.

SR 2.: Marami na pong mga bansa ang apektado ng kumakalat na Covid-19. Sa panahong tinatalakay natin ito sa ating programa, 14 na ang namatay at 187 at positibo sa COVID-19. Lockdown ang naging tugon ng gobyernong Duterte. Enhanced Community Quarantine ang utos niya sa lahat ng residente hindi lang sa National Capital Region kundi sa buong Luzon. Ano po ba ang ibig sabihin ng Enhanced Community Quarantine? At ano po ang inyong masasabi dito, Prof. Sison?

JMS:  Kasalanan ni Duterte at kanyang buong rehimen na kumalat na ang Covid-19 sa buong Pilipinas, lampas sa  opisyal na sinasabing bilang ng nagkasakit sa virus.  Noong ikalawang linggo pa lang  ng Enero, may alerto na ng World Health Organization tungkol sa epidemya ng COVID-19 sa Wuhan, Tsina.  Pero pinayagan pa rin ni Duterte na  pumasok sa Pilipinas ang mga biyaherong mula sa Tsina, higit sa 14,000 mula Wuhan at kalahating milyon mula sa buong Tsina. Katwiran  niya na kailangan ang kita  mula sa mga turistang Tsino at sa  tinatawag na mga POGO o mga kasinong Tsino.

Militarista at pasistang katarantaduhan ang lockdown na ipinataw ni Duterte sa National Capital Region. 40,000 ang bilang ng militar at pulis na dineploy para harangin ang mga tao sa napakaraming checkpoint.  Sinisita ang bawat isa para magpresenta ng ID at kunwari may isang gumagamit ng thermal scanner sa noo ng napakaraming tao.  Ang masama pinagtitipon ang mga malusog at mga posibleng maysakit. Nagagambala ang hanapbuhay ng mga tao at lalong kakalat ang Covid-19 dahil pinaghahalo ang may dala ng sakit sa mga  walang  sakit.

Lalo pang masama ang Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) na sumasaklaw na sa buong Luzon. Ipinagbabawal  na ang mga tren, bus, jeepney, taxi, SUV, P2P bus at tricycle. Lalong hindi nakakarating ang mga tao sa trabaho nila. Lalong patay ang ekonomya, mga pagawaan at mga serbisyo. Ang pinakamasama ay hindi makarating sa mga ospital at klinika ang mga may sakit ng Covid-19 o anupamang seryosong sakit. Pati mga doktor, nars at medikal supply ay mahirap  o hindi makarating sa mga ospital, klinika o health center. 

Katarantaduhan ang panghaharang ng mga armadong alipuris ni Duterte sa malulusog na tao, mga health professional at mga maysakit.  Ginamit ang Covid-19 bilang dahilan para gambalain at takutin ang mga tao.  Mas masahol pa ang Duterte virus sa Corona virus. Sa totoo lamang, nakapatay na ng higt sa 30,000 ang Duterte virus magmula pa 2016. Kung paghambingin, kakarampot pa lang ang pinapatay ng Covid-19.

SR 3: Sa unang araw ng mga checkpoints na ginawa ng mga pulis at sundalo, lumikha ito ng mahabang pila at trapik. Marami ang nagalit dahil sa nahuli sa trabaho ang maraming commuters. Ano po kaya ang marapat talagang gawin para sa maraming nagtatrabaho sa Metro Manila mula sa mga kalapit na probinsya, Prof. Sison?

JMS:  Dapat medikal ang solusyon sa Covid-19, hindi militar.  Antemano dapat nagdeploy ng mga doktor, nars, health attendants, face masks, personal protection equipment, thermal scanner, testing kit, mga oxygen tank, mga gamot at mga bed space para sa mga pasyenteng nasa malubhang kondisyon sa mga quarantine centers sa antas ng mga komunidad.  At dapat libre ang testing at treatment. Nagawa ito sa Tsina, Vietnam , Cuba, Singapore, South Korea at iba pang bansa.

Sa gayon, naihihiwalay ang mga may sakit  at malayang magbiyahe ang mga malulusog para makapunta sa kanilang mga trabaho. Masama na pinagbabawalang magbiyahe ang malulusog. Mamamatay sila sa gutom dahil walang kita. At babagsak ang ekonomya.  Pinamakasama para sa mga may sakit na hindi sila makarating sa opspital, klinika o health center. O kaya ihinahalo sila sa mga walang sakit sa mga military at police checkpoints.

SR4: Ayon sa Alliance of Health Workers o AHW, kulang ang mga health workers at doktor ng mga tamang kagamitan para sa monitoring ng mga pasyenteng posibleng may Covid-19 . Face mask nga ay halos wala o tumatagal ng tatlong araw imbis na ilang oras na paggamit lamang sa isang araw. Dahil sa budget cut sa pangkalusugan kung bakit lalong gipit ang kalagayang ng mga health workers. Ano po ang inyong masasabi sa bagay na ito, Prof. Sison?

JMS: Totoo ang sabi ng  Alliance of Health Workers o AHW, kulang ang mga health workers at doktor,  mga tamang kagamitan para sa monitoring at testing ng mga pasyenteng posibleng may Covid-19. Pati face mask ay halos wala at kung mayroon, ginagamit ito nang maraming araw imbes na ilang oras lamang. Mas masahol pa ay walang sapat na public health workers at kagamitang panggamot sa mga positive sa COVID-19.

Ang ugat na dahilan kung bakit  walang preparasyon at sapat na mga tauhan at kagamitan sa public health ay ang military overspending at korupsyon ng rehimeng Duterte.  Kinaltasan nang malaki ang mga badyet ng Department of Health nang 14 bilyong piso,  gayundin  ang mga badyet sa public education at iba pang social service para mapalaki ang badyet para sa office of the president,  sa militar at mga kagamitan nila ,  sa intelligence at discretionary funds at  sa pork barrel ikinabubusog ng pamilya, mga kroni at mga kongresista ni Duterte.

SR5: Sa talumpati ni Pangulong Duterte, humihingi siya ng ceasefire sa New People’s Army. Ceasefire daw muna pareho habang hinaharap natin ang ganitong kalagayan. Ano po ang inyong opinyon sa kahilingan na ito ni Duterte, Prof. Sison?

JMS:  Mahirap maniwala na sinsero o seryoso siya sa paghingi ng ceasefire sa New People’s Army o NDFP. Kung kailan lamang nag-utos siya sa kanyang mga militar na tapusin ang NPA at kilusang revolusyonaryo bago matapos ang term niya sa 2022. At ‘yong deployment ng militar at pulis sa mga lungsod ay hindi naman para lutasin ang problema ng Covid-19 kundi supilin ang legal na demokratikong kilusan at para palakasin ang kanyang tiraniya at mapili niya ang kapalit kung malubha na ang sakit niya mismo.

Maniniwala ang NDFP na talagang gusto niya ang ceasefire na masasang-ayunan nito kapag itigil  ang pananalakay at panunipil sa mga legal na demokratikong pwersa sa mga lungsod at mga larangang gerilya ng demokratikong gobyerno ng mga manggagawa at magsasaka at palayain niya ang lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal sa pamamagitan ng general amnesty on humanitarian grounds tulad ng pagpalaya ng Iranian government sa mga gasampung libong political prisoner para hindi sila madali ng COVID-19 sa loob ng preso.

SR6: Sinabi rin ni Pangulong Duterte na pwedeng hulihin ng pulis ang sinumang lalabag sa panahon ng checkpoint. Ang sabi naman ni Atty Chel Diokno, hindi pwedeng hulihin ang taong gustong pumasok sa NCR para magtrabaho. Ano po ang inyong masasabi hinggil sa bagay na ito?

JMS:  Tama ang sabi  ni Atty Chel Diokno, hindi pwedeng hulihin ang taong gustong pumasok sa NCR para magtrabaho, magdala ng pagkain o sinumang may sakit  na dapat pumunta sa doktor para magpagamot.  Pananakot at pagmamalabís ang utos ni Duterte na arestuhin ang sinumang lalabag ng batas sa mga checkpoint. Natural na magalang ang karaniwang tao. Malisya ni Duterte ang kanyang ipinaparatang sa mga tao na basagulero sila, tulad niya.

SR7: Disyembre 2019 nang pumutok ang Covid-19 sa China. Pero ngayong Marso lang naalarma ang gobyerno matapos maitala ang mga naging biktima ng Covid-19. Meron po bang responsibilidad ang gobyerno sa pagkaantala ng paghahanda ng Pilipinas sa pagpasok ng Covid-19 sa bansa?

JMS: Tulad ng dati ko nang sinabi, malaking kasalanan or krimen ni Duterte at mga kasapakat niya sa rehimen ang pagkalat ng Covid-19 sa Pilipinas sa Enero pa lamang.  Pinapasok ang 14, 000 Tsino mula sa Wuhan at 500,000 mula sa kabuan ng Tsina. At walang ginawa ang rehimen para maglaan ng mga tauhang pangkalusugan, mga rekurso at kagamitin para agapan at pigilin ang pagkalat ng COVID-19. Prayoridad ng mga may kappangyarihan ang pangungurakot  ang pagpapabaya sa kalusugan at paglabag  sa mga karaptan at interes ng mga mamamayan.

SR8: Ano po ang inyong mensahe sa ating mga tagapakinig? Marami po sa ating mga kababayan ang tila hindi mapakali dahil hindi lamang ang Covid-19 ang kanilang inaalala, kundi ang pagkain sa mesa sa araw araw.

JMS: Dapat panagutin ang rehimeng Duterte sa pagpapasok at pagkakalat ng Covid-19 sa Pilipinas at  sa kawalan ng wastong patakararan at mobilisasyon ng mga tauhang pangkalusugan at mga mamamayan para labanan ang pandemya .  Kriminal na  kapabayaan ito  ni Duterte. Tuwirang kaugnay nito ang mga pangunahing interes ng  rehimeng Duterte sa  pagiging taksil sa bayan, tirano, berdugo, mandarambong at manggagantso.

Dapat ibayong patatagin ng sambayanang  Pilipino ang kanilang pagkakaisa at kapasyahan para wakasan ang rehimeng Duterte. Dapat kumilos pa nang may ibayong militansya para ihiwalay at ugain ang rehimeng ito mula sa pundasyon hanggang sa atip. Dapat ibayong  palakasin  ang mga makabayan at demokratikong pwersa para ibagsak ang rehimeng ito  sa lalong madaling panahon. At maisulong ang mga pwersang ito ng sambayanang Pilipino para sa ganap na independensiya, demokrasya, hustisya sosyal, lahatang panig na pag-unlad at makatarungang kapayapaan.

Sarah: Maraming salamat po Prof. Joma talagang kailangan natin, higit kailanman ang mensahe ng kritikal na pagsusuri sa sitwasyon, kabaligtaran ng “sumunod na lang kayo” na kalakaran ni Duterte. Mas mahalaga, ay ang mensaheng sama-sama nating aksyunan ang ating pagsusuri at napagkaisahan. 

JMS: Ako po’y nagpapaalam kay Prop Sarah Raymundo at sa lahat ng tagapakinig. Umaasa akong makasama kayo muli sa ating susunod na panayam.  Sa kritikal na kalagayan ng ating bayan, laging may malaking isyu na dapat pag-isipan, talakayin at aksyunan. Maasahan ninyong handa akong makipanayam tungkol sa anumang mahalagang isyu. Maraming salamat. Mabuhay kayo!

SARAH: Naririyan ang ating mga organizasyon na sa gitna ng panggigipit ng rehimen ay nakatayo pa rin at ibayong magpapakilos para sa ating mga pangangailangan sa kasalukuyan. 

Mag-organisa, magtiwala sa mga kasama, abutin ang mga pinakanangangailangan sa pamamagitan ng ating mga grupong pangsimbahan, asosasyon, pederasyon, unyon, at iba pang porma ng organisasyon. 

Maraming may pagtingin na lockdown o ang pag-kontrol sa kilos ng mga tao ang isa sa mga solüsyon para pababain ang pagtaas ng mga nahahawa at namamatay sa COVID-19. 

Pero kung tayo ay may isang sistemang buhos ang resources sa pampublikong kalusugan, may mga sapat at libreng testing kits, hospital beds, at maging mga hospital, kung pampublikong serbisyo ang prioridad sa budget ng gobyerno na galing sa ating buwis, makatutugon ang gobyerno sa pangangailangan ng mamamayan kasaba ng pagprotekta nito sa frontliners, mapapaisip din tayo ng mga mas marangal, makatao, risonable, epektibong solusyon bukod sa lockdown.

 Ang lilikha ng sistemang iyon ay walang iba kundi tayo. Kaya ang pagiging kritikal sa gobyerno sa panahong ito ay may layuning makaambag sa bagong sistemang tumutugon sa pangangailangan ng tao at hindi ganitong kumikitil sa laya at buhay ng sambayanan sa gitna ng pisang matiging krisis. 

Salamat sa inyong pakikinig! Ibayong pag-iingat, pangalagaan ang ating mga komunidad laban sa COVID-19 at sa pasistang rehimeng Duterte. Hanggang sa muli, ito si Sarah Raymundo, aktibista ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan o BAYAN at guro ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas-Diliman, kasama niyo at ni Prof Joma dito sa Itanong Mo Kay Prof! 

END.

NDFP says no need to rush into reciprocating Duterte’s unilateral ceasefire announcement

GENEVA, Switzerland—There is no clear basis for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to rush into reciprocating the government’s unilateral declaration of ceasefire, its chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said.

In a statement, Sison said that while there is ongoing communication between the NDFP and Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) negotiating panels, there is yet no agreement for reciprocal unilateral ceasefires in regard to efforts in containing the corona virus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

In asking for certain “considerations, requirements and modalities” for the NDFP to think about reciprocating GRP’s unilateral ceasefire announcement, Sison said there has to be clarifications.

He added that without such understanding, the ceasefire announcement by Malacañang Palace is “premature, if not insincere and false.”

President Duterte has decided to declare a unilateral ceasefire against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), and the NDFP effective 00:00 hour of March 19 to 24:00 hours of April 15, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced Wednesday evening in Manila.

According to Panelo, the President directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), including the national defense as well as the interior and local government departments, to cease and desist from carrying out operations against the revolutionary forces.

Duterte last Monday publicly asked the underground communist groups for a ceasefire during the Covid-19 pandemic, promising to repay them “with a good heart in the coming days” if they agree.

Sison however said the NDFP is not assured and satisfied that the ceasefire announcement is based on national unity against Covid-19, the appropriate solution of the pandemic as a medical problem and the protection of the most vulnerable sectors of the population, including workers, health workers, those with any serious ailments and the political prisoners.

“Unless it receives sufficient assurances from the GRP, the NDFP will be inclined to think that the GRP unilateral ceasefire declaration is not sincere and is not intended to invite reciprocation by the NDFP but is meant to be a mere psywar (psychological warfare) trick,” Sison warned.

Sison pointed out that according to the people and their own forces in the Philippines, Duterte’s lack of sincerity in seeking a real ceasefire is manifested by the following”

  1. The militarist lockdown on the whole of Luzon is mean not to fight the Covid-19 pandemic but to intimidate the people, suppress democratic rights, commit human rights violations and prevent the working people from going to their workplaces, and immobilize even the health workers and people who wish to be tested and treated for Covid-19 and other serious ailments; and
  2. The AFP and the PNP continue to redtag, abduct and murder social activists, including human rights defenders, in urban areas and to unleash attacks against the people in the guerrilla fronts of the NPA.

The NDFP and the CPP earlier condemned the killing of senior cadre Julius Giron, his physician Lourdes Tan Torres and their aide last March 13 in Baguio City. Human rights activists also blamed the military for the abduction and killing of choreographer and activist Marlon Maldos last Tuesday, March 17, in De la Paz, Cortes in Bohol province.

Sison said that despite all the above, the NDFP continues to hope that Duterte orders the GRP negotiating panel come to clear terms with its counterpart “for the benefit of the people.”

“Promises of Duterte, such as doing a good turn from a good heart, can be believed only as they are realized promptly and according to a definite schedule,” he said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NDFP ready to accept ceasefire request amid Covid scare, ‘if Duterte is serious’

UTRECHT, The Netherlands—The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said it will seriously study the ceasefire request by President Rodrigo Duterte during the time of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) emergency despite doubts that the government’s deployment of military forces in Metro Manila is really to fight the pandemic.

NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said that if Duterte is really serious with his request, he should make a formal offer through the government’s negotiating panel to their counterparts based in this city.

“The offer will be seriously studied by the NDFP and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). It will be related not only to the common fight against Covid-19 but also to the resumption of the peace negotiations,” Sison said.

Duterte made the ceasefire request in a speech in Malacañang Monday, March 16, asking the New People’s Army’s help in containing the disease by not attacking government soldiers.

“Ceasefire lang. Ceasefire muna tayo. Ako na ang naghihingi. Ceasefire. Kindly give me that…if you want us to be always on talking terms…during this crisis. Kindly cooperate and help. Mas mabuting tumulong na lang muna kayo. I will repay you with a good heart in the coming days,” Duterte said.

Sison said that in studying Duterte’s request, the NDFP will demand that public funds be poured into the effort to fight Covid-19 to ensure that there are adequate health workers, facilities, equipment and medicines.

NDFP Negotiating Panel chairperson Fidel Agcaoili for his part said he awaits a formal request from his government counterparts if Duterte is really serious with his ceasefire request and promises.

“Of course we are always ready to accept their formal proposals,” Agcaoili said.

Sison added that “the NDFP will certainly demand that the GRP realign government spending from excessive military spending and from rampant corruption in order to pursue genuine land reform and national industrialization and expand social services, specially public health and education.”

In the meantime, the revolutionary forces and the people themselves have to undertake collective efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic while remaining guarded against “continuing military assaults under NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) and various operational plans of the Duterte regime,” Sison said.

Sison said that Duterte has admitted in his speech that his redeployment of his military and police to urban areas would leave a vacuum and will allow the NPA to increase its tactical offensives in the countryside. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Joma: Militarists making talks resumption impossible

National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison condemned recent statements made by the government’s top security officials, accusing them of trying to prevent the resumption of formal peace negotiations.

In a reaction to statements by presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez, national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr., Sison said President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed his highest military officials to oppose the resumption of the talks.

“Despite the over-all nationwide success of the reciprocal unilateral ceasefire agreement which occurred from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020, the Duterte regime has issued public statements that continue to terminate and prevent peace negotiations and render impossible the resumption of these between the duly-authorized panels of the GRP and NDFP,” Sison said in a statement Saturday, January 11.

Sison said that Duterte’s highest military subordinates, including interior and local government secretary Eduardo Año, national defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana and new AFP chief of staff Filemon Santos Jr., made utterances that they oppose peace and prefer to wage all-out war against the Filipino people instead. 

“[T]hey would rather continue the militarization and fascisation of the government and society under Executive Order No. 70,” he said.

Sison said the officials, all retired and active military generals, believe that peace negotiations are not needed because they are already in the process of destroying the New People’s Army (NPA) before 2022. 

“They boast that they are open only to surrender negotiations in a Philippine venue under their control. They claim to be satisfied with the psywar (psychological warfare) campaign of fake surrenders, fake encounters and persona non grata declarations,” Sison said.

Anti-talks pronouncements

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) chairperson Carlito Galvez dismissed last Friday further negotiations on social and economic reforms with the NDFP, likening the prospective approval of the main agenda of the peace talks to an act of “treason”.

In a news article published by his office, Galvez said the Filipino people do not need the Comprehensive Agreement on Social (and) Economic Reforms (CASER) and Interim Peace Agreement (IPC) that are the proposed bases for the resumption of formal negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

Galvez described the CASER as an “irrelevant proposition and simply a copycat of the programs of the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-NDFP) as outlined in the plagiarized content of Jose Maria Sison’s publication Philippine Society and Revolution.”

He said that adopting the CASER and the IPC could be likened to committing treason since the communists will implement these programs based on their constitution while the government needs to change its charter to apply the reforms.

“CASER is based on an obsolete framework and is no longer relevant since it is largely based on the pre-industrialization and pre-globalization era. It is a formula for the surrender of the national government’s integrity as well as the state’s sovereignty,” he said.

Galvez said the NDFP draft of the CASER has several questionable provisions, including financing national industrialization from confiscated and expropriated assets of “foreign monopoly capitalists, big compradors and bureaucrat capitalists.”

He said the language in which the provision has been framed may “cast a dark cloud over the nation’s economy” and could lead to “the weakening and eventual decline of the country’s economic standing in global markets.” 

He also said it is worrisome that the proposed CASER orders the demobilization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the establishment of a coalition government with the communist group by setting up “programs for the People’s Democratic Government.”

“CASER is a product of a secret backchannel maneuver by the communist insurgents. There was zero consultation with the government’s economic team, security forces, local agencies, and local government units, and most importantly, the Filipino people,” Galvez alleged.

Esperon Jr. for his part expressed opposition to the planned revival of peace talks with the NDFP last Tuesday, accusing the CASER of reflecting the NDFP’s “duplicitous character and self-interest.” 

Like Galvez, Esperon said the proposed CASER “do not directly reflect the best interest of the nation,” but that of the communist rebels.

“After presenting the objectionable provisions of their proposed CASER, would it be beneficial to the nation that we engage the (communists) in another round of peace talks?” Esperon asked, adding the government is instead pursuing local peace talks.

Last Christmas Day, Parlade also accused the communists of duplicity, particularly CPP founding chairperson Sison and members within the churches.

Parlade said Christmas and its Christian ideals are incompatible with the mindset of communists, accusing them of following the likes of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin he said were members of a satanic cult.

‘What progress?’

Sison, however, challenged the generals’ claims of economic progress in the Philippines that make economic, social and political reforms through peace negotiations irrelevant.

“The Filipino people are supposed to be already living in an industrialized paradise without social injustices, massive unemployment, low incomes and rampant poverty. The Duterte regime is supposed to be solving all problems and rendering unnecessary peace negotiations,” Sison mocked.

By allowing the officials to openly defy efforts to resume peace negotiations, the Duterte regime is practically telling the Filipino people that peace negotiations are impossible until 2022, he said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NDFP names 5 Cabinet officials as worst peace talks foes

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) accused high-ranking government and military officials of opposing efforts to revive peace negotiations and launching actions that violated the recently concluded ceasefire agreement between the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Manila government.

NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison named Duterte’s national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon, national defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana, interior and local government secretary Eduardo Año, presidential adviser on the peace process chairperson Carlito Galvez and new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Felimon Santos of opposing efforts to revive the peace process.

“Either Duterte has been pretending to be for peace negotiations all along or he fails as commander-in-chief to put in line his military subordinates for the resumption of the peace negotiations,” Sison said.

Sison said Duterte’s five subordinates made the following declarations to disobey the President’s public declarations on his desire to resume peace negotiations with the NDFP:

1. They can destroy the CPP and NPA before the end of the Duterte regime despite the failure of all previous regimes to destroy the people’s revolutionary movement and the repeated failure of the current Duterte regime to comply with its deadlines for destroying said movement.

2. They oppose peace negotiations in a neutral venue abroad but favor negotiations for the surrender of the CPP, the NPA and entire revolutionary movement in a Philippine venue under the control and manipulation of the regime and its armed minions.

3. They can stage fake localized peace talks despite the glaring fact that all organs of the CPP and commands of the NPA at all levels have publicly rejected and condemned such fakery.

4. They are happy with and enjoy the escalating conditions of oppression and exploitation under the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system of big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats who are servile to the imperialist powers, their banks and monopoly firms.

5. They shun social, economic and political reforms to realize full independence, democracy, social justice and all-round development and they are most vehemently against genuine land reform and national industrialization.

“[T]he Filipino people should not be surprised if the GRP-NDFP will not be resumed in the twilight years of the Duterte regime,” Sison said.

Sison said that even before the end of the reciprocal unilateral ceasefire agreement last January 7, Duterte’s military and police subordinates “have been calling for war and blood and have been making offensive deployments against the Filipino people and revolutionary forces throughout the archipelago.”

The NDFP in Negros island, one of three rebel strongholds Duterte ordered to be flooded with military forces last year, reported “unabated military operations” during the two-week holiday truce.

Military movements

In a statement Wednesday, January 8, a day after the ceasefire agreement concluded, Ka Bayani Obrero, NDF-Negros spokesperson, said they received the following reports of AFP combat operations throughout the island from the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command of the New People’s Army (AGC-NPA):

1. December 24, 2019 – 1 military truck full of 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) troops descended on Brgy. Mansablay, Isabela, Negros Occidental; 

2. December 27, 2019 – 21 soldiers of the 62nd IB descended on Sitio Kuyawyaw, Brgy. Inolingan, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental; 

3. December 27, 2019 – 21 soldiers of the 62nd IB descended on Sitios Oway-oway and Binataan, Brgy. Quinten Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental; 

4. December 27, 2019 – 30 soldiers of the 62nd IB descended on Sitio Tibobong, Brgy. Quinten Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental; 

5. December 28, 2019 – 33 soldiers of the 62nd IB descended on Sitio Tiyos, Brgy. Quinten Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental; 

6. December 30, 2019 – Undetermined number of 62nd IB soldiers descended on Sitio Saisi, Brgy. Tan-awan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental; 

7. December 31, 2019 – 62nd IB soldiers also descended on Sitio Bayi, Sitio Cande-is and Sitio Ulitaw, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental; 

8. December 31, 2019 – 20 soldiers of the 79th IB led by a certain Maj. Tupaz descended on Sitio Tanquinto and Hacienda Amparo, Brgy. Mabini, Escalante City, Negros Occidental; 

9. January 1-3, 2020 – 62nd IB soldiers descended on Sitio Pisok, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental; 

10. January 3, 2020 – 14 soldiers of the 79th IB descended on Sitio Brodjen, Brgy. Malasibog, Escalante City, Negros Occidental, and;

11. January 6, 2020 – 40 soldiers of the 79th IB descended on Brgy. Paitan, Escalante City, Negros Occidental.

The NDF-Negros also reported troop movements and operations by the 11th IB under the 302nd Brigade and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Brgy. Talalac in Sta. Catalina and other municipalities in the Third Congressional District of Negros Oriental.

 “[These] manifest the dubious sincerity of the Duterte regime regarding peace talks resumptions,” Obrero said.

Obrero said the AFP and the PNP implemented combat operations in peasant communities in the mountainous areas “to persistently spread terror, threats, and harm on the Negrosanons.” 

“This simply shows that Duterte has no control over his bloodthirsty and warmongering dogs in the military and police,” AGC-NPA spokesperson Ka Juanito Magbanua said.

Magbanua said all NPA guerrilla fronts in Negros successfully celebrated the CPP’s 51st founding anniversary last December 26. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Ceasefire ends ‘successfully’, but no extension

The reciprocal unilateral ceasefire agreement between the government and the communist rebels ended without further incident at midnight last night, but Jose Maria Sison thinks there is no reason to extend the truce at this point.

Sison, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant, expressed disappointment that despite the ceasefire’s success, the Rodrigo Duterte government did not release a single political prisoner in the last two weeks to further bolster chances of resuming formal peace negotiations between the parties.

“There is no reason for the NDFP to recommend to the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) the extension of the ceasefire, especially because GRP did not release a single political prisoner who is sickly, elderly or NDFP consultant in the entire period of the ceasefire agreement,” Sison told Kodao in an online interview.

Sison said the holiday truce between the CPP and the government had been successful nationwide “despite some two incidents of self-defense by the New People’s Army (NPA) before the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) submitted its SOMO (Suspension of Military Operations) and SOPO (Suspension of Police Operations) to the NDFP belatedly on December 26.”

Sison was referring to the separate ambuscades undertaken by the NPA in Camarines Norte and Iloilo provinces that killed one police officer and injured several others on the morning of December 23 on the day the ceasefire agreement was supposed to take effect.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) admitted its troops were on combat operations on both occasions but claimed they were in the process of pulling out when waylaid by the communist guerrillas.

On the other hand, government soldiers belonging to the 401st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army “swarmed” a village in Bacuag, Surigao del Sur last December 30, causing the NPA to cancel its celebration of the CPP’s 51st founding anniversary and mass wedding of its members.

Sison said the troop movement was offensive, provocative to the NPA, disturbing to the community and was, therefore, a violation of the ceasefire.

Despite the general success of the nearly two-week truce, however, Sison revealed there is no further agreement between the two parties to extend the ceasefire agreement.

“Instead, what the NDFP is getting from the GRP side are the warmongering statements of AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP officials announcing offensives and insisting on fake localized peace talks staged by AFP military officers for racketeering,” Sison said.

Sison was referring to the 9th Infantry Division-Philippine Army’s claim that 306 alleged NPA members surrendered last December 26 on the occasion of the CPP’s 51st founding anniversary that immediately backfired when netizens pointed out that photographs released by the Philippine Army purportedly showing the surrenderers were faked.

The AFP later admitted to the fakery.

Sources in the backchannel talks between government representatives and the NDFP said labor secretary Silvestre Bello III is expected in The Netherlands in the third week of the month for another “informal talk” aimed as preparatory to a formal meeting for the resumption of formal peace negotiations. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)