Joma to Robredo: Localized peace talks just an intelligence operation

The scheme gives the military and the police the opportunity to bribe or kill those who make the mistake.

The next President of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) must first do away with the obstacles put up by the Rodrigo Duterte government before peace talks with the Left could resume, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said.

Asked to react to Vice President Leni Robredo’s statement in Cagayan de Oro that she prefers localized peace talks with the Communists, Sison said her proposal is merely a scheme to divide the revolutionary movement.

“The pretend peace talks aims to sow discord in the movement and an intelligence operation for the military and police to identify persons they can bribe or kill from those who make the mistake of agreeing to the scheme,” Sison said.

READ: CPP says no to ‘pretend talks’ with LGUs

ALSO READ: More revolutionary groups reject ‘localized talks’

“Localized peace talks are merely a part of the dirty tricks of US-designed armed counter revolution implemented for a long time already in the Philippines,” he added.

Presidential aspirant Robredo renewed calls for localized peace talks with communist rebels throughout the country as a step to forging an agreement with the NDFP, Rappler reported.

The way I see it, there is a need for localized peace talks. We can attain peace if we address the roots of the problem…(including) poverty and inequality,” Robredo said.  

But Sison said the next administration must resume the peace process from where the Duterte government terminated them and do away with Presidential Proclamations 360 and 370 that terminated formal peace negotiations and declared the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (NPA) as so-called terrorists.

Sison added that the next government must also cease focused military operations against civilian communities alleged to be supporting the NPA, dismantle the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, and repeal the Anti-Terrorism Act, among other obstacles.

He said that the next government must reaffirm and agree to strengthen the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement of Safety and Immunity Guarantees.

“The NDFP should also learn lessons from the fact that even if the peace talks had been held abroad since 1992, the Duterte regime has been able to use these to abduct and kill NDFP negotiating negotiators, consultants, resource persons and staff,” Sison said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Revolutionary groups reject ‘local peace talks’ scheme

The Rodrigo Duterte government will only find empty chairs across the negotiating table when it tries to hold so-called localized peace talks.

The National Democratic Front-Panay (NDF-Panay) and the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) said they are rejecting government’s latest scheme.

“NDF-Panay and all revolutionary forces in the region totally reject any call for local peace talks with the local bureaucracy or any other entity blessed by the anti-peace liar and chief fascist representative of the ruling class in the country (Duterte),” Concha Araneta, NDF-Panay spokesperson, in a July 7 statement said.

Araneta said that not one region has been enticed and fooled by any reactionary regime to face the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) in the regional, provincial, city or municipal level in order to negotiate a comprehensive solution to the armed conflict.

“Time and again, this divisive scheme has been rejected by the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) and all NDFP forces and structures in the regions and provinces of the Philippines,” Araneta said.

Simon Naogsan, CPDF spokesperson, has also said their forces will not participate in any local peace talks with the government.

“Among us (Cordillerans), national oppression is perpetrated by the reactionary state ruled by big landlords, comprador bourgeoisie and US imperialism” Naogsan told The Philippine Star.

“We cannot expect these problems to be answered by local governments,” Naogsan explained, adding they will only support national peace negotiations.

Duterte order

Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing Thursday (July 12) said the government will allow local government officials to conduct peace talks with communist revolutionaries in their respective areas.

Roque said Duterte made the decision after meeting his Cabinet security, peace, and justice clusters as well as lawmakers and local government officials last July 11.

Roque said the guiding framework for localized peace talks will include the following:

* It will be nationally orchestrated, centrally directed and locally supervised and implemented.

* The constitutional integrity and sovereignty will not be compromised.

* Complete and genuine resolution of the local armed conflict; it shall cover the NPAs, organs of political power and Militia ng Bayan.

* If there is a ceasefire, the constitutional mandate of the state to protect public safety, civilian welfare, critical infrastructure and private properties and the guarantee of rule of law and order will not be compromised at all times.

* Government goodwill, full amnesty package based on disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration to the mainstream of society.

* The necessary enabling environment set by the President for the formal local talks to proceed are local venue, no coalition government or power-sharing, no revolutionary taxes, extortion, arson and violent activities and the fighters to remain in their pre-designated encampment areas.

* The substantive agenda will be based on the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan and Philippine Development Program 2040.

Roque also said that peace and livelihood packages may be offered to NPA surrenderers.

Really crazy

NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison dismissed Malacañan’s localized peace talks announcement.

“Duterte is really crazy. He wants to negotiate with his own shadow,” Sison said, adding so-called localized peace talks are an old discredited psychological warfare tactic.

Sison said that like reported fake surrender ceremonies using civilians and recycled surrenderers held by the military, local peace and order councils are money-making schemes for local politicians.

“This is a stupid waste of public money. It is a kind of racket, with the local political followers and military agents of Duterte pocketing the money for the fake surrenders [and localized peace talks],” Sison said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)