IMPENDING GPH-NDFP PEACE TALKS IN OSLO
Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
By Mynardo Macaraig
Reporter, Manila Bureau
Agence France Presse
February 11, 2011
I am a reporter for the international news agency, Agence France Presse,
Manila and we are doing a story on the impending peace talks between the
Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
As someone familiar with the operations of the NDFP, I hope you would
answer some questions on the prospects of the negotiations.
Some of these questions are as follows:
1. Do you think the talks can succeed considering the recent spate of
attacks by the New People's Army (NPA) ?
JMS Reply: Please bear in mind that the armed conflict is two sided. The
military, police and paramilitary forces of the Government of the
Philippines (GPH) wage armed offensives against the New People´s Army (NPA)
like the NPA does. There are peace negotiations precisely because there is
a two-sided armed conflict going on. The peace negotiations can move
forward and succeed if the The Hague Joint Declaration and subsequent
agreements are reaffirmed and the two conflicting sides negotiate in order
to address the roots of the armed conflict with basic social, economic and
political reforms and thereby establish the basis for a just and lasting
2. The government negotiating panel has put a three-year deadline for
peace talks to succeed? Do you think that is realistic? Do you think the
NDFP will demand an extension?
JMS Reply: In tactful terms, the GPH negotiating panel chairperson Alex
Padilla has declared that best efforts be exerted by both sides to forge
comprehensive agreements on the three remaining items in the substantive
agenda and thus to make the over-all peace agreement within three years so
that this can be implemented in earnest in the last three years of the
Aquino regime. The GPH has not made any threatening deadline or ultimatum.
I think that the three year estimate for making the comprehensive
agreements is reasonable and realistic and may be even too long if the two
sides are earnest in negotiating and making agreements along a patriotic
and progressive line.
3. What will the NDFP ask for in the talks? Congressman Satur Ocampo has
said that they will call for a complete reversal of Aquino's economic
policies. If this is true, won't this virtually assure that the talks will
reach a stalemate?
JMS Reply: The NDF asks for nothing from the GPH, except for what is just
and beneficial to the Filipino people as a matter of national and
democratic right. The two sides ought to agree on asserting and
strengthening national independence, widening democracy by empowering the
working people, carrying out economic development through land reform and
national industrialization, promoting a patriotic, scientific and
democratic culture and fostering international relations for peace and
The US-dictated policy of neoliberal globalization has brought about a
severe crisis in the Philippines and entire world capítalist system. For
his own good, Aquino should veer away from that policy as Satur Ocampo has
suggested. He should also veer away from the policy of state terrorism and
from the US Counterinsurgency Guide. If he is willing, the NDFP and the
Filipino people can help him in overcoming the social and economic crisis
through a patriotic and democratic alliance and truce.
4. Will the NPA ever agree to disarm even if the talks are successful?
Will the NDFP negotiators walk out if the government calls for the
disarming of the NPA?
JMS Reply: The end of hostilities and disposition of forces are the last
item to be negotiated in the substantive agenda. This is not up for
discussion in the forthcoming Oslo talks this February. The comprehensive
agreement on social and economic reforms and that on political and
constitutional reforms must first be made by the two sides and approved by
their principals before any side can propose the disarming of the other
Even in the future when the comprehensive agreements are reached on
social, economic, political and constitutional reforms but are not yet
fully implemented, it is best for the two sides to opt for a truce rather
than for one side to demand the disarming of the other side. At the
moment, it is premature to talk about disarming any side in the ongoing
5. The government has said there will be no pre-conditions in the talks.
But are there issues that the NDF considers non-negotiable, where they
will stop the talks unless the government gives in to them?
JMS Reply: The NDF agrees with the GPH that there should be no
preconditions to negotiations, But existing agreements require the joint
or separate compliance by the negotiating parties. Both sides have agreed
that formal talks of the negotiating panels can be resumed upon the
validity and full effectivity of the Joint Agreement on Safety and
Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).The GRP-NDFP negotiations have produced twelve
(12) agreements since 1992. These must be respected, reaffirmed and
complied with so that the peace negotiations can move forward.
6. How much is the NDF willing to concede to keep the talks alive? Will
they call on the NPA to stop their attacks? Will they drop such previous
demands like the de-listing from the US and EU 'terror' lists?
JMS Reply: I do not know exactly what you mean by asking what the NDFP is
willing to concede to keep the talks alive. The GPH has not demanded that
the NPA stop the revolutionary armed struggle or else stop the peace
negotiations. Neither has the NDFP asked the AFP, PNP and CAFGU to stop
their counterrevolutionary armed struggle. There are prior items to
negotiate in the substantive agenda.
Regarding the terrorist blacklists of foreign governments, the NDFP
continues to demand that the GPH withdraw its treasonous acts of having
requested the US, EU and other foreign governments to put the CPP, NPA and
myself in the so-called terrorist lists and stop arguing shamelessly that
those foreign governments have the sovereign right to intervene in the
internal affairs of the Filipino people.
7. Do you see the possibility of the public turning against the NDF if
they are seen as being intransigent?
JMS Reply: The Filipino people will always fight for their national and
democratic rights and build and support such revolutionary forces as the
CPP, NPA and NDFP. It is the Aquino regime that will become totally
isolated and detested by the people if it continues to serve the interests
of foreign monopoly capitalists, the big compradors, landlords and
bureaucrat capitalists. No amount of doleouts, palliatives and psywar can
prettify a puppet, corrupt, brutal and mendacious regime. The people are
already asking why Aquino has failed to deliver on his promise of holding
the Arroyo clique accountable for corruption and human rights violations.
8. Critics say the NDFP is engaging in talks simply for publicity mileage
and have no real desire to seek peace. They predict that once they get
enough attention, the NDFP will find an excuse to call off the talks? Do
you think that is true? Will the NDF use the talks for other purposes?
JMS Reply: Would such critics prefer that the NDFP withdraw from the peace
negotiations? Would not the NPA also make publicity mileage by
intensifying the armed struggle? I think that the NDFP is negotiating in
good faith. It has devoted so many years of hard work in the peace
negotiations and has gone so far as to propose to the GPH a concise
agreement for an immediate just peace through alliance and truce in order
to strengthen national independence and transform the agrarian economy to
an indusrial one through land reform and national industrialization. Of
course, if the Aquino regime spurns such a patriotic and progressive
demand of the people, then the revolutionary forces of the people would be
further motivated to wage armed revolution and gain further ground in the
Mynardo A. Macaraig
Agence France-Presse, Manila
tel. no. 632- 5810183, 632-7513857
cel. no. 09178142872
Communist Party of the Philippines
Declaration of Ceasefire
February 12, 2011
We hereby declare to all commands and units of the New People's Army (NPA)
and the people's militia a ceasefire order to be effective upon the
reciprocal and concurrent ceasefire order from the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines (GPH, formerly designated as GRP) to its
military, police and paramilitary forces, within the period of 0001H of 15
February 2011 to 23:59H of 21 February 2011.
In conformity with the mutual ceasefire between the GPH and the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as a confidence and goodwill
measure to mark the resumption of the formal talks after six years, all
the commands and units of the NPA shall cease and desist from carrying out
offensive operations against the armed units and personnel of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and
paramilitary forces of the GPH.
While the mutual ceasefire is in effect, all commands and units of the NPA
and the people's militia shall be in a defensive mode at both the
strategic and tactical levels but shall remain vigilant against any
encroachment on the territory of the people's democratic government,
surveillance or offensive operations by the armed commands and units of
the GPH, including those under the signboards of “peace and development”,
“civil-military” and “peace and order operations”. Active self-defense
shall be undertaken only in the face of clear and imminent danger and
actual armed attack by the enemy.
All hostile actions or movements of the enemy
armed forces shall be monitored and reported upwards in accordance with
the command structure of the New People's Army and the leadership
structure of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines in order to provide continuous, timely
and accurate information to the NDFP Negotiating Panel regarding
compliance with or violations of the mutual ceasefire.
This entire ceasefire order is issued on humanitarian grounds and as an
act of good will in order to allow the commands, units and personnel of
the contending armies of the GPH and the NDFP to show their support for
the peace negotiations conducted by the NDFP with the GPH and in order to
hold consultations with the people on their demands for fundamental
social, economic and political changes as the way to a just and lasting
We hope that our act of goodwill and the mutual ceasefire between the GPH
and the NDFP will improve the atmosphere for peace negotiations
particularly upon the resumption of formal talks between the GPH and NDFP
Negotiating Panels in Oslo on February 15-21, 2011 and inspire the release
of political prisoners, the full implementation of the Joint Agreement on
Safety and Immunity Guarantees, the end of human rights violations in
consonance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights
and International Humanitarian Law.
Communist Party of the Philippines
National Executive Committee
National Democratic Front of the Philippines