DAVAO CITY – The impulse that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is now portraying on the possibility of having the peace talks localized in lieu of the snagged negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is nothing but a perception of absurdity and stupidity.
In a statement on Monday, July 16, NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Ma. Sison laid down five major reasons why localized peace talks, which is also being pushed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is totally illogical and futile.
In his first contention, Sison said the government cannot use the localized peace talks to negotiate and make comprehensive agreements with the growing armed revolutionary movement to address the roots of the armed conflict with social, economic and political reforms of national dimensions.
Secondly, Sison stressed that the government cannot divide and disintegrate the revolutionary movement being led by the Communist Party of the Philippines.
He said Duterte and Lorenzana are “daydreaming” when they thought they can sow dissent and split the unified revolutionary movement through the localization of peace talks.
Thirdly, Sison said the government is now facing complete embarrassment when the central and regional leading organs of the CPP, NPA (New People’s Army) and NDFP openly expressed condemnation to the proposed localized ceasefire and peace talks.
The NDFP consultant, in his fourth assertion, said that the people and the revolutionary forces have long realized that the so-called localized peace talks are nothing but zarzuelas.
This theatrics, he added, is staged by the military and the local peace and order councils for psywar purposes and for pocketing funds in the name of fake surrenders.
Lastly, Sison told Duterte and Lorenzana: “You should admit that you have all along been sabotaging the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, canceling and terminating these so often due to your failure to reduce them to mere surrender negotiations and now you are so frustrated with your utter failure to make the NDFP capitulate that you are at the end of your wits by touting the absurd and stupid notion of localized peace talks.”
A false belief
The National Council of the NDFP, through its Information Bureau also issued a statement on Monday and called the Duterte government as delusional for believing that the localized peace talks can defeat the armed revolutionary government.
The NDFP said the idea of localized peace talks came on the heels of Malacañang’s announcement that an executive order would be issued calling for “public consultations” about the peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP.
“This worn-out tactic, which has been tried by every regime since that of Fidel Ramos, has always failed because it had no takers among the armed revolutionaries,” the statement pointed out.
The group added that past reactionary governments which consistently failed to secure the wholesale capitulation of the revolutionary forces through national-level peace negotiations always resorted to localized talks as a fallback, thinking that what they could not achieve in one fell swoop, they could do piece by piece.
NDFP also emphasized that localized talks are a classic divide and rule tactic aimed to deceive local CPP leaders and NPA commanders into agreeing to local ceasefire arrangements and later on induce them to surrender.
“Localized peace talks are also a vain attempt to isolate NDFP chief political consultant Jose Ma. Sison from the mass of revolutionaries, because of the crucial role he plays in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations,” the statement added.
The NDFP also took note of the vilifications made by noted anti-communist Rigoberto Tiglao against Sison on the eve of the Duterte regime’s issuance of its guidelines on the localized talks.
“Localized peace talks are also supposed to complete the armed revolutionary movement’s alleged disintegration, riding on the AFP’s bogus claims that NPA guerrillas and their supporters are feeling the heat of military operations and are surrendering in droves,” the group stressed.
Fake surrenders staged by the military were already exposed by NPA National Operations Command spokesperson Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, the group said.
The fakery of mass surrenders, the group added, have presented ordinary civilians, ex-guerrillas and even paramilitary elements as surrenderees so that high-ranking military officials could pocket the millions of pesos in funds allotted for the program.
“But the most important reason why localized peace talks have never succeeded is that the NPA, led by the CPP, is strong and united organizationally,” the NDFP pointed out.
The statement added that regional CPP leaders and NPA commanders fully support the NDFP Negotiating Panel in the peace negotiations with the GRP.
“The CPP, NPA and other allied organizations of the NDFP are of one mind that the peace talks must address wholly the social, economic and political roots underlying the armed conflict. It is starkly clear to them that these problems cannot be addressed through localized peace talks and piecemeal reforms,” the group asserted.
Regional revolutionary forces are already issuing statements repudiating the Duterte regime’s localized peace talks scheme, the NDFP said, adding that only the deluded minds like those of Lorenzana and his band of militarists are desperate enough to make another stab at this failed and worthless tactic.
NDFP-SMR rejects localized peace talks
The NDFP in Southern Mindanao Region also issued a statement on Monday rejecting the move of the Duterte administration for localized peace talks.
Rubi del Mundo, the spokesperson of NDFP-SMR said Duterte’s move is nothing but a hollow attempt to draw a veil over the ravages of Martial Law in Mindanao and the escalating bloodbath of Oplan Kapayapaan affecting millions of civilians in the country.
Del Mundo pointed out: “With civilian death toll on the steady rise, Duterte has made it plainly clear that there is no room for democratic discourse or opposition under his tyrannical rule. The idea of peace negotiations that are ‘nationally orchestrated, centrally directed and locally supervised and implemented’ is but a smokescreen to obscure the fact that Duterte has never been serious in addressing the root causes of the Filipino people’s armed resistance and is only predisposed in the complete capitulation of the revolutionary movement.”
She added that in Southern Mindanao, particularly in Davao City, NPA forces have consistently declined all “invitations” for localized peace talks, albeit noting that the “gestures” are better directed at supporting the GRP-NDFP negotiations instead.
Del Mundo said that all red commanders and fighters of all units of the NPA in the country are behind their national leadership in supporting the negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP panels in a foreign venue.
She added that a substantive agenda patterned in neoliberal reactionary development plans essentially pre-empt and reject whatever economic or political gains the masses hope to have in the negotiations.
Del Mundo also asked: “So if not for the benefit of the masses or the local fighters’ leadership, for whom then will the local peace talks serve?”
By pushing for localized peace talks, Del Mundo asserted that Duterte, in truth, is appealing to the corrupt nature of his fellow bureaucrat capitalists by encouraging them to subvert the previously agreed-upon guidelines and machineries and the advances borne out of the past 25 years.
She added that Duterte intends to isolate the many local and national politicians who are supportive of the NDFP-GRP negotiations and paint them as anti-peace or communist sympathizers.
The local peace talks will also be used by the US-Duterte regime to line the pockets of its favored reactionary politicians and officials of the AFP and PNP, Del Mundo noted.
“Duterte is hoping he will be able to entice enough corrupt reactionary officials and court public support to back this mindless scheme. While he prattles senselessly about wanting to make peace a reality, he continues his crackdown against the homeless and the unemployed in the towns and cities and dispatches fascist AFP battalions to sow terror in the countryside and drive away Lumad and peasants from their land and livelihood.”
She also dubbed the localized peace talk as a “surrender package” that will never fly in the face of the US-Duterte’s tyranny and dictatorship.
“Despite the overwhelming support for resuming the peace negotiations between the two panels, it is evident that Duterte is adamant in making a circus, a pointless and an expensive one, at the cost of taxpayers’ money and at the behest of his blood-hungry advisers in the US-controlled AFP and the Department of National Defense,” Del Mundo added.
She finally reiterated the wisdom shared by the NDFP panel that states: “all else considered, it is Duterte who desperately needs the peace negotiations, not us.” (davaotoday.com)