Reds tell Marcos officials to quit sabotaging efforts to revive talks

No end to armed conflict without solving root causes, CPP insists

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounced claims made by GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) security officials the November 23 Oslo Joint Statement is an agreement for the surrender of the New People’s Army (NPA) and an effective end to the 55-year civil war in the Philippines.

Reacting to statements made by National Security Council Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya in an online press briefing last January 3, the CPP said the official misrepresented the joint statement to deviously undermine efforts to revive peace negotiations between the GRP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

In its own statement issued Thursday, the CPP said Malaya’s claims also seeks to prevent discussions from taking place that should tackle the socioeconomic and political issues that are the root causes of the armed conflict.

The CPP also criticized claims by other government officials that the joint statement was signed with the aim of ending the CPP-led armed struggle.

In a primer on the Oslo Joint Statement last Friday, December 29, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict quoted both Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin and defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro as saying the communiqué does not signify the resumption of the peace talks.

There is no guarantee of peace talks, both officials reportedly said.

The primer further quoted Bersamin as saying, “The peace talks are over and done…The communiqué that was mutually agreed upon communicates to the people of the Philippines, and to the world, that both parties now want to end the hostilities.”

The CPP however clarified that the GRP officials are intentionally misreading the joint statement that while it includes the phrase “ending the armed struggle,” it is accompanied and preceded by the phrase “resolving the roots of the armed conflict.”

“This entails thoroughgoing negotiations that should be undertaken with a clear agenda that comprises (a) human rights; (b) social and economic reforms; (c) political and constitutional reform; (d) disposition of forces under The GRP-NDFP Hague Declaration signed in 1992,” the CPP explained.

Both parties have already signed a Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) under The Hague Joint Declaration in 1998 by the NDFP and the Joseph Estrada GRP.

The CARHRIHL has since been reaffirmed by the NDFP and subsequent Gloria Arroyo, Benigno Aquino and Rodrigo Duterte GRP governments.

The revolutionary group added that should peace negotiations again take place with the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. government, these should address the widespread problems of landlessness, poverty and hardships, political repression and tyranny, as among the issues that drive the people to take up arms against the Manila government.

“Indeed, the CPP and the NDFP consider peace talks as an additional battlefield, albeit unarmed, alongside revolutionary armed struggle, to advance the people’s national democratic cause, to assert across the negotiating table the people’s demands: for genuine land reform and national industrialization, social justice and true democracy,” the CPP statement said.

While several GRP officials have issued varying statements on the signing of the Oslo Joint Statement, mostly in disagreement with the NDFP-NPA-CPP position, President Marcos himself has yet to clarify his official position on whether to resume negotiations or to simply ask the underground Left to surrender. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NDFP: Esperon, Parlade in Europe to set up death squads

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) expressed fears high ranking Rodrigo Duterte government officials are in Europe to hatch terrorist plots and set up assassination groups against Filipino activist groups.

In a statement, the NDFP Information Office in Utrecht, The Netherlands said National Security Council chairperson Hermogenes Esperon and his newly-appointed vice-chairperson Antonio Parlade Jr. in Milan, conducting meetings with former government soldiers and police officers who have resided in Italy.

“This is not the first time that Parlade came to Europe to undertake terrorist activities against progressive forces based in Europe. Last year, the Duterte regime through its NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) traveled to several countries in Europe purportedly to set-up cells of the NTF-ELCAC,” the NDFP said.

The NDFP said these cells are aimed at undertaking surveillance and red-tagging activities against progressive compatriot organizations, foreign solidarity friends and entities, anti-Duterte individuals and personalities, especially open leaders of the NDFP and its peace panel.

Those who will be subjected to surveillance are possibly targets for assassination, the group added.

NDFP-supplied photo of newly-appointed National Security Council vice chairperson Antonio Parlade partying with OFWs in Milan, Italy. A check on the Facebook accounts of the persons identified in the screenshot did not show the photos or may have been already deleted.

Independent sources confirmed the two officials were in Milan and have partied with known Rodrigo Duterte supporters among Filipino migrant workers in the Northern Italian city where tens of thousands of Filipinos reside.

Parlade and Esperon’s trip was unannounced in the Philippines. The government’s top security officials have yet to respond to the NDFP’s allegations

Not the first time

The NDFP recalled at least two earlier circumstances when such plots were hatched and launched by the Philippine government against Europe-based revolutionaries and activists.

“Years ago, according to NDFP sources, the NDFP leaders based in Europe got hold of information that an assassination team has been formed in Milan and was ready to travel to the Netherlands to assassinate NDFP leaders,” the group said.

During the Joseph Estrada regime, a member of an assassination team the regime organized and sent to kill NDFP chief political consultant Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, came forward to expose the plan after it failed, and after the Dutch police confirmed the plan’s existence, it added.

The NDFP also alleged a similar plan to assassinate Prof. Sison came to the attention of the NDFP leaders last year and was similarly confirmed by the Dutch police.

The Dutch police Sison to take precautions, it said.

Compatriots, the NDFP member organization for migrant Filipinos, said the Philippine government’s newest attempts to set up death squads in Europe are likely to fail.

“Like earlier attempts of Parlade and Esperon to recruit OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) to the NTF-ELCAC and possibly set-up a death squad or assassination team in Europe, their terrorist and fascist plan is sure to fail and will be foiled by freedom and democracy-loving overseas Filipinos and European friends,” Compatriots said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)