Pilgrims for Peace hold liturgical-cultural forum

to carry forward the quest for peace and justice


Formal peace talks to resume, Feb. 14 to 21 in Oslo, Norway



Sto. Domingo Church, QC


Feb. 4,  2011




Liturgical-Cultural forum on peace and justice  in Manila  
  Formal peace talks in  Oslo to resume on Feb. 15


Oslo: Preliminary talks in January 2011

Photos courtesy of  Philippine Peace Center





by Pilgrims for Peace


We, the Pilgrims for Peace came from various Christian denominations and form a broad alliance of advocates for genuine and lasting peace based on freedom, democracy and social justice.

In critical discernment, in solidarity with the poor and as church people, we state that the Filipino people thirst for justice and long for economic stability. Centuries of exploitation and oppression were exacerbated by the prolonged regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

We affirm that a state of peace exists when: people are guaranteed the right to life and enjoy basic human needs and the whole nation is free from foreign domination, government ensures and promotes everybody’s human rights and basic services like health care and education are given to all citizens; peasants enjoy the produce of the land and workers receive just wages and enjoy security of job tenure; the youth develop their talent and skills through a free and nationalist-oriented education; professionals cheerfully contribute their knowledge and craft for the good of the people; and, governance is practiced without any interference of foreign powers.

We also acknowledge that the decade’s-long armed conflict in our nation is a result of unjust and inhumane social disorder that prevails to this day.

We have long advocated that just and lasting peace can be achieved by addressing the roots of the armed conflicts. Poverty, human rights, sovereignty and patrimony and the people’s demand for justice are integral components of the agenda of any peace negotiations.

We declare it incumbent upon the Aquino Administration to address the desire and longing for a just and lasting peace as a right path. The sincere resumption of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is a way to address the roots of the armed conflict. Sincerity is mainly seen in terms of compliance with previously signed agreements and without any preconditions

Thus, we urge the following goodwill measures:

* The release all political prisoners and detainees</span></span>

* The resumption of the peace talks on the basis of the principles stated in the Hague Declaration of 1992*

*  Compliance with previously signed agreements by

o  Reaffirming the Joint Agreement on the Safety and Immunity Guarantees
o  Reconvening the Joint Monitoring Committee on the implementation of CARHRIHL under the Joint Agreement on the formation, sequence and operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committee for Human Rights of the GRP and NDF Negotiating panels

*  The implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)

*  Proceed with the discussion on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER)

Guided by our task to live-out our prophetic role, we will be consistent on being critical and vigilant that the new administration will uphold its promise of addressing the roots of the conflict for just and lasting peace


The GRP-NDFP panelists with Norwegian government representative
NDFP: Jalandoni, Sison


NDFP Calls for Explicit Prohibition of CMO Operations during Ceasefire
February 02, 2011
NDF International Information Office

Utrecht, The Netherlands — The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) yesterday called for the explicit prohibition of actions that are hostile to the people under the deceptive signboard of Civil Military Operations (CMO) under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the ceasefire from 15 to 21 February 2011 on the occasion of the resumption of formal peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

In an urgent message to the NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni, the NDFP principal and revolutionary forces pointed out that in many barangays the CMO operations, under the Community Organizer for Peace and Development (CPOD), had AFP troops harassing the communities, threatening the residents who resisted being recruited into the CAFGU, listing them as “sympathizers” of the New People’s Army (NPA) and putting them on the AFP’s Order of Battle. These CMO operations are in effect military operations which are part of the government’s anti-people and counter-insurgency scheme.

Jalandoni, in a letter to GRP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Alexander Padilla, stated: "Our Negotiating Panel considers it imperative that AFP and PNP units be brought back to regional and provincial barracks respectively during the ceasefire and if any patrols have to be undertaken, these patrols be limited to the immediate vicinity of the AFP and PNP barracks. By immediate vicinity is meant not more than two kilometers beyond the barracks. AFP and PNP patrols farther away will be considered offensive military or police operations.

“It is very important for the success of the ceasefire during the resumption of formal talks that the AFP and PNP not only suspend offensive operations against the NPA but also issue clear orders to their units not to carry out hostile actions against the people.”

Jalandoni also urged the GRP Negotiating Panel to work out with its political leadership and the AFP and the PNP the measures in consonance with the above-stated proposals of the NDFP principal and revolutionary forces on the ground. Such measures should be stated in the Suspension of Offensive Military Operations (SOMO) and in the Suspension of Offensive Police Operations (SOPO).

For more information:
Email: ndf@casema.nl
Telephone: 00-31-30-2310431 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 00-31-30-2310431


Padilla, Sanidad



CPP preparing ceasefire declaration, reiterates demand for AFP forces be confined to barracks for duration of talks
February 06, 2011
Communist Party of the Philippines

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said that a declaration of ceasefire to coincide with the forthcoming resumption of formal peace talks on February 15 to 21 is being prepared by the leadership of the CPP and the NDFP in anticipation of a similar simultaneous declaration by the Philippine government.

The CPP, however, said that it is still having second thoughts about issuing such a ceasefire declaration in the light of continuing AFP counter-insurgency military and psywar operations under the so-called “Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD)” conducted against civilian communities where the New People’s Army operates.

“The CPP and NDFP reiterate the demand of the revolutionary forces and mass base for the AFP forces to be confined to barracks during the ceasefire period and suspend not only their outright military aggressions but also their military operations in the guise of the COPD.”

“If Malacañang and its armed forces will insist on conducting such military operations against civilian communities during the peace talks, the negotiating panels might as well continue to conduct the negotiations without holding any ceasefire,” said the CPP. “It would be utterly foolish for the CPP to agree to a simultaneous ceasefire declaration without assurances that AFP forces would be confined to barracks.”

The CPP said that “more than 90% of the complaints it received of violations of the 19-day ceasefire during the holiday season were related to such military operations against civilian communities.” The CPP pointed out that the COPD is actually just a new name for the operations of discredited “Re-engineered Special Operations Teams” that combine “civil-military operations” with outright military aggression and other fascist operations.

Last February 2, the NDFP called for the prohibition of COPD operations in NPA base communities as a way of ensuring the success of the simultaneous ceasefire. However, Malacañang and the AFP insisted that counter-insurgency military operations in civilian communities are not covered by any ceasefire declaration.

“What good is a ceasefire declaration when soldiers continue to conduct military operations disguised as “peace and development” programs which actually target activists and people’s organizations in these communities?” the CPP asked.

“For the hundreds of thousands of people in these communities, a ceasefire declaration becomes useless when the reactionary puppet armed forces continue their so-called security patrols, ‘law enforcement’ operations, psywar, intensive harassment of “sympathizers” and other forms of terrorism against civilians who refuse to denounce membership in and sympathy with the revolutionary movement, as well as refuse recruitment into the CAFGU and AFP barrio intelligence networks.”

Under the AFP’s Oplan Bayanihan, military operations are to be conducted by the AFP against communities suspected to be active in, supportive of, or sympathetic to, the revolutionary cause. The aim is to dismantle the local mass organizations of peasants, women and youth and suppress their mass struggles, especially the people’s enforcement of their own genuine agrarian reform.

“People have been complaining of living in fear and inability to work freely in their farms whenever the AFP conducts its so-called civil-military operations in their communities,” added the CPP. “These operations are now conducted under the refurbished signboard of ‘peace and development,’ but are actually no different from the vicious special operations conducted by the AFP under Oplan Bantay Laya in 2001-2010.”

“Entire communities are complaining that they are being terrorized even by the mere presence of the fascist soldiers,” said the CPP. “For weeks up to months, fully armed and combat-ready soldiers of the AFP set up bases in these communities; use schools, day-care centers and barangay halls as their detachments; conduct security reconnaissance in the area, pretend to be friendly with the insidious objective of identifying leaders and activists of community organizations, interrogating them and applying economic, psychological and military pressure to make them stop their political and community-organizing activities.”

“Martial law is virtually imposed in these communities,” added the CPP. “These fascist soldiers conduct census, compel people to attend meetings, ‘invite’ suspected activists and sympathizers for interrogation, log the movement of people, and control the supply of food and other commodities.”



Ang Bayan (January 21, 2011)


The preliminary talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) on January 14-18 in Oslo, Norway bore fruit as the two panels agreed to proceed to the formal talks on February 15-21 and implement a concurrent ceasefire



Pilgrims for Peace: Liturgical-Cultural Forum

Photos courtesy of Pilgrims for Peace








Makibaka song: http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=496569563923