NOORDWIJK AAN ZEE, Netherlands —As far as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is concerned, former government chief negotiator Alex Padilla is “trying hard to be a spoiler.”
NDF peace panel media officer Dan Borjal said Padilla has become “irrelevant to the current peace talks” and the “biggest failure” in the history of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.
Padilla was previously interviewed in a Philippine cable television talkshow where he said the peace talks between the government and the communists is bound to fail under the Duterte administration.
Padilla cited that the NDFP will not give up on its collection of revolutionary taxes as opposed to President Rodrigo Duterte’s wish.
He also said that the representatives of the NDF peace panel negotiating with the government do not have control over the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
In 2013, Padilla quit as head of the government peace panel for the negotiations with the NDFP. The GRP-NDFP peace talks at that time was discontinued as both Parties accused each side of insincerity.
Borjal said the talks during Padilla’s stint “did not progress even an inch.”
“He wanted to move it backward in negating what had already been achieved by trying to tear apart all the important agreements already signed,” he said.
Borjal said Padilla criticized The Hague Joint Declaration which was signed between the government and the NDFP on September 1, 1992.
“He attacked the all-important document that is The Hague Joint Declaration as being a document of perpetual division because he did not agree with the basic principles stated in the document, that the holding of peace negotiations must be in accordance with mutually acceptable principles, including national sovereignty, democracy and social justice and no precondition shall be made to negate the inherent character and purpose of the peace negotiations,” Borjal said.
He added that Padilla imposed the authority of the government over the NDFP and the revolutionary movement and wanted the NDFP “to surrender even without having come to agreement on the necessary reforms.”
Borjal said Padilla even believed that there was no need to discuss the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), the second item in the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations as the government was already implementing social and economic programs.
The CASER, which is described as the “heart and soul” of the peace negotiations is currently the central focus of the fourth round of talks held here, along with the issue of ceasefire.(davaotoday.com)