Reds tell Lorenzana: No peace without ‘drastic change’ of status quo

May. 22, 2017

SUCCESSFUL ROUND. The Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines conclude the fourth round of talks on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at the Radisson Blu Palace Hotel in Noordwijk Aan Zee in the Netherlands. L-R: NDFP peace panel Chairperson Fidel Agcaoili, NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison, Norwegian Special Envoy to the Philippine Peace Process Elisabeth Slattum, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza and GRP Chief Negotiator Silvestre Bello III. (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The National Democratic Front of the Philippines reiterated their stand that only when reforms on economy and politics are in place can there be negotiations on the end of the armed struggle waged by communists.

This as the group condemned Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who earlier said that there can be no peace as the New People’s Army continues its offensives in various parts of the country.

Fidel Agcaoili, NDFP Panel Chairperson in a statement on Sunday said: “To say that there will be no peace simply because the NPA continues to fight the forces of the AFP and PNP despite the ongoing peace negotiations is very narrow thinking.”

Agcaoili called described Lorenzana and other officials within the Armed Force of the Philippines as “war hawks” for continuing to treat the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NDFP and the NPA as “enemies of the state.”

“They are not for peace. They are for continuing the war against the revolutionary forces and the people,” Agcaoili said. “Lorenzana and the war hawks are not for a political solution to the armed conflict but for surrender of the revolutionary forces without the needed reforms to change the status quo.”

He said the NDFP is engaging with the government in the peace negotiations to find political solution to the armed conflict “which calls for drastic change of the status quo through needed social, economic and political reforms.”

The NDFP and the government (GRP) resumed the stalled negotiations last year and is now on the fifth round of talks under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Agcaoili said they agreed to resume the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations when Duterte, who proclaimed that he is with the “Left” became president.

Agcaoili said when Duterte said he was the “first Left President” it means he was for “change of the status quo.”

“Being “Left” means fighting for change of the status quo in the same way that being “Right” means maintaining the status quo,” he added.

Agcaoili maintained that the peace talks aims to achieve a just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the armed conflict. The next rounds in the peace talks which will be held in The Netherlands on May 27 to June 1 aims to forge agreements on social and economic reforms (CASER), considered as the “meat” of the peace negotiations, and political and constitutional reforms (CAPCR). (

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