In Davao City:

Peace workshop and peace rally in support of the GPH-NDFP Peace NegotiationsI

 

February 17-18, 2011

 

 

   In Oslo: Peace talks continue

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Photos courtesy of Sowing the Seeds for Peace Mindanao Secretariat
           
     

 

A march rally for peace preceded the Mindanao Workshop Consultation. A contingent of 7,000 from all over Mindanao marched the streets of Davao to sound off the people's call towards just and lasting peace.

The march culminated with a cultural rally at Freedom Park in Roxas Street, Davao City.

The march rally and the workshop was led by the Sowing the Seeds for Peace, a Mindanao-wide clergy-led movement in pursuit of just and lasting peace

 

 

 

 

 

February 18, 2011
NEWS RELEASE

Sara lauds initiatives to push Mindanao agenda in peace talks

Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte yesterday (Thursday) gave her support to a Mindanao-wide initiative to craft a Mindanao people's peace agenda to be forwarded to the ongoing peace talks between the Philippine Government and National Democratic Front.

Duterte, who graced the consultative workshop hosted by Sowing the Seeds of Peace Mindanao in Alexian Wellness Center in Davao, said the people's ideas "are all important that deserves to be put in the agenda."

The workshop aims to draft an agenda to be presented to both panels in the resumption of talks in Oslo, Norway this week.

The young mayor hopes that "whatever results the panels achieve on the table, let it trickle down to the last stone in the city. We all want peace, for the city, for Mindanao, and for the country."

She said that like the rest of the country, Davao has been affected by the decades long armed conflict led by the CPP-NPA, but understands that "many issues are legitimate because looking at history and the roots of such problems we can't say who is wrong here."

The mayor, however, pointed to the "wrongs" by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in dealing with the armed conflict, saying they "they fail to listen to the people on the ground. They just implement orders, but don't listen to anyone."

The mayor previously has called the military’s counter-insurgency campaign as “combat heavy” and clashed with some officials on such issue.

The Sowing the Seeds is an initiative of Mindanao clergy to bring broader participation of sectors in the peace talks, and such gathering drew around 300 members from clergy, peace and human rights advocates, journalists, lawyers, professionals, teachers and sectors from workers, peasants, urban poor, youth and women, the lumads and Moro people.
 

For Reference:
Bp. Modesto Villasanta, UCCP
Convenor
0928.692.0141/0999.668.1495
Or emailsowingpeacenow@gmail.com.



 

Photo by Karlos Manlupig

     

Photo by Karlos Manlupig

           
     
     
     

 

NEWS RELEASE
February 18, 2011
 

Mindanao people’s peace agenda centers on three Ps

The clergy-led Mindanao peace movement, Sowing the Seeds of Peace ends its Mindanao-wide multi-sectoral consultation, highlighting calls for economic sovereignty, national patrimony and protection of human rights especially among vulnerable sectors such as peasant women and children from indigenous peoples’ communities.

As expected, various sectors collectively scrutinized the issues besetting Mindanaoans and what they hope to achieve with the resumption of peace talks between GPH-NDFP panels in Oslo, Norway scheduled to end this February 21. Different sectors from as far as Caraga region, Bukidnon, Dipolog in Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga City, Sulu, Basilan, Cotabato, Socsksargen, and the Davao region provinces have presented a Mindanao People’s Peace Agenda, incorporating valid concerns among peasants/farmers and fisherfolks, workers, lumads, transport groups, children & youth, health practitioners, environment advocates, government employees, Moro, business sector, teachers, informal settlers and vendors, and the media.

Atty. Carlos Isagani Zarate of the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao gave the synthesis for the consultation’s output, saying that just and lasting peace can be hopefully achieved if there is attainment of the people's version of PPP -- Panginabuhian (economic security), Patrimony and Pagbag-o (reforms). He stressed government's need to carry out this socio-economic reforms for the benefit of the people.

The workshop drew many calls for the scrapping of economic policies such as the Philippine Mining Act, Oil Deregulation Law, EVAT and other legislations like the IPRA and National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) as these only contribute to the people’s dismal state and degradation of the environment.

Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan of GABRIELA Partylist graced the event and challenged those present at the symbolic closing ceremony to “continue sowing seeds of peace” towards Mindanao’s better interests and its people’s development.

The two-day activity at the Edessa Hall, Alexian Brothers Health & Wellness Center in Matina, Davao City drew 250 participants from the clergy, peace and human rights groups, journalists, lawyers, teachers, leaders and members of peasant, women and youth organizations from all over Mindanao.

The Mindanao People's Peace Agenda culled from the consultation includes key recommendations pertaining to agrarian reform, economic sovereignty, national patrimony, decent work, job security & just wages, human rights, good governance, right to self-determination, health, education and youth.

Said output will be submitted to the GPH-NDFP panels now negotiating in Oslo, Norway.
Bishop Modesto Villasanta, UCCP, convenor of the Mindanao Movement For a Just and Lasting Peace says drawing out Mindanaoan’s aspirations for a peaceful Mindanao is now a pressing need as violence, discrimination and oppressive practices continue to escalate.

A march rally attended by an estimated crowd of 3,000 shortly followed from Centennial Park to Freedom Park along Roxas Blvd. to culminate the two-day Mindanao consultation. ###



For reference:
Bishop Modesto Villasanta, UCCP
Convenor
0928.692.0141



 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

February 18, 2011, Friday
MEDIA ADVISORY

Big peace rally to cap Mindanao-wide peace movement talks today

A PEACE RALLY expected to be attended by thousands of people dubbed Mindanao People’s Walk for Peace will cap the two-day event of Mindanao-wide peace movement talks today (Friday, February 18) .

The peace rally will assemble at Centennial Park (in front of San Pedro Cathedral) at 2:00 pm. It will end at Freedom Park in Roxas Ave., Davao City where cultural program will be held at around 5 pm.

The Mindanao-wide multi-sectoral consultation on the ongoing GPH-NDFP peace talks in Oslo, Norway will be expected to present a Mindanao People’s Peace Agenda at the end of the workshops by midmorning today at the Edessa Hall, Alexian Brothers Center, Matina, Davao City.

With the objective of drawing out the Mindanaoan’s peace agenda, output of the consultation will be submitted to the panels now negotiating in Oslo, Norway.

The activity is attended by some 300 participants from the clergy, peace and human rights groups, journalists, lawyers, teachers, leaders and members of peasant, workers, women, youth, the Moro and indigenous peoples from all over Mindanao.

The multisectoral consultation workshop is initiated by Sowing the Seeds of Peace, a clergy-led Mindanao movement convened recently to work for a just and lasting peace.

We would like to request a representative of your news organization to cover the activities.

For confirmation and inquiries please contact 0999.668.1495 or email sowingpeacenow@gmail.com.

Thank you very much.


For reference:
Bishop Modesto Villasanta, UCCP
Convenor
0928.692.0141



 

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte lauds the participants and hopes

that the results of the talks will "trickle to the last stone in Davao City".

 

 

Mindanao Workshop Consultation for the Mindanao Peoples' Peace Agenda held last February 17-18 at the Alexian Wellness Center Edessa Hall, Davao City.


The event was led by the Sowing the Seeds of Peace, a Mindanao clergy led movement in support of the peace talks.

The workshop was participated by around 250 persons from all over Mindanao, including sectors from the peasants, workers, urban poor, indigenous peoples (Lumads), Moro people, and other sectors like women, youth, transport groups, entrepreneurs, and media.

The workshop drafted a Mindanao Peoples' Peace Agenda to be presented to the peace panels of the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front now taking place in Oslo, Norway. ▼

 

 
           
     

 

     

 

 

MEDIA ADVISORY
February 17, 2011
 

Mindanao-wide peace movement talks in full swing until February 18

The clergy-led peace movement, Sowing the Seeds of Peace is holding a Mindanao-wide multi-sectoral consultation on the ongoing GPH-NDFP peace talks in Oslo, Norway today and will be expected to present a Mindanao People’s Peace Agenda as it ends tomorrow, February 18, 2011 at the Edessa Hall, Alexian Brothers Center, Matina, Davao City.

With the objective of drawing out the Mindanaoan’s peace agenda, output of the consultation will be submitted to the panels now negotiating in Oslo, Norway after presentation/reporting of workshop groups by mid-morning of February 18, Friday.

As of press time, over 200 participants from the clergy, peace and human rights groups, journalists, lawyers, teachers, leaders and members of peasant, women and youth from all over Mindanao will take part in this activity with the aim maintsreaming the Mindanao people's aspirations a just and lasting peace.
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A PEACE RALLY dubbed Mindanao People’s Walk for Peace will cap the two-day event from Centennial Park to Freedom Park in Roxas Ave., Davao City at 2:00 PM tomorrow. A short cultural program will follow shortly.

We would like to request a representative from your news organization to cover the activities. For information and inquiries, please contact 0999.668.1495 or email us at sowingpeacenow@gmail.com.

Thank you very much.

For reference:
Bishop Modesto Villasanta, UCCP
Convenor
0928.692.0141

 


 

     
           
     
     
     
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MEDIA ADVISORY
February 16, 2011

Clergy-led peace movement holds Mindanao-wide multi-sectoral consultation on ongoing GPH-NDFP peace talks on February 17-18

A Mindanao-wide consultation workshop to draw out the Mindanao people’s peace agenda to the ongoing GPH-NDFP peace talks in Oslo, Norway will be held this coming February 17-18 in Davao City.

The event expects a gathering of more than 200 members of the clergy, peace and human rights advocates, lawyers, journalists and teachers, leaders and members of the organizations of workers, peasants, youth and women from across Mindanao.

One of the aims of the activity is to formulate a Mindanao People’s Peace Agenda that can be submitted to the panels now negotiating in Oslo, Norway.

Davao City Vice-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is expected to give a welcome message at the opening ceremonies which will start at 5:00 pm, Thursday, February 17 at the Edessa Hall, Alexian Brothers Center, Matina, Davao City (near Davao Memorial Park and Philippine Episcopal Church).

A presentation by workshop groups is expected by 10am of February 18.

A march, dubbed as Mindanao People’s Walk for Peace will be held after the closing ceremonies. The peace rally which expects to gather thousands to the main streets of Davao will start at 2:00 pm (Feb18). It will culminate at Freedom Park where a cultural program shall be held.

The multisectoral consultation workshop is initiated by Sowing the Seeds of Peace, a clergy-led Mindanao movement convened recently to work for a just and lasting peace.

We would like to request a representative of your news organization to cover the activities.
For confirmation and inquiries please contact 0999.668.1495 or email sowingpeacenow@gmail.com.

Thank you very much.

Bp. Modesto Villasanta, UCCP
Convenor

     
           
     

 

Environmentalists and biodiversity conservationists participated the peace workshop. The environmental groups discussed and drafted the people's environmental rights agenda for the peace talks. Other sectors such as workers, peasants, IPs, ...Moro, women, youth, fisherfolks, teachers/academe, government employees, business, etc. also drafted their respective sectoral agenda.

Just days after the workshop, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Mindanao issued a strong statement banning all commercial logging operations in natural forests and challenged the Aquino government to strictly implement total log ban in environmentally-critical areas and watersheds by canceling all the permits of big commercial logging companies. Mindanao-based environmentalists and biodiversity conservationists welcomed the said policy declaration of NDFP which could help arrest and reverse loss of forest cover and biodiversity and help mitigate the impacts of climate change-related disasters.

 

Francis Morales, acting Secretary General of environmental rights network Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao facilitated the workshop with the environment groups.

 

--  captions by Juland R. Suazo

 

     

 

(Right to Left) Gabriela Women Partylist Representative Luzviminda Ilagan, Sr. Noemi Degala of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary, and Bishop Modesto Villasanta of UCCP leads the closing ritual.

 

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February 15, 2011
Press Release
 

Clergy-led movement for peace welcomes GPH-NDFP talks with elation

A clergy-led Mindanao movement – Sowing the Seeds of Peace –welcomes the renewed talks between government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) today in Oslo, Norway.

“We welcome this with our fervent support. The coming talks are set to discuss social and economic reforms, the meat of any negotiated political settlement which is key to addressing the roots of the armed conflict in the country,” Bishop Modesto Villasanta of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum-Mindanao and convenor of the movement said.

After a near decade-long hiatus, both panels from the government (GPH) and the NDFP decided to resume talks under the new Aquino administration, as they will discuss the drafting of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reform, the second substantive agenda of the talks.

“We hope the talks will enable both parties to find agreements on immediate and long-term reforms for our people’s benefit,” said Bishop Villasanta.

The Sowing the Seeds of Peace, which convened last Sunday in Cagayan de Oro, will be initiating consultations and forums to bring to the mainstream the Mindanao people’s agenda in the GPH-NDFP Peace talks.

The clergy leader also stressed that the talks should not be seen as a concern for both parties to resolve alone, saying that the armed conflict traces its roots on socio-economic injustices affecting the people.

Echoing this idea, Cagayan de Oro Mayor Vicente Emano, one of the convenors of the Sowing the Seeds of Peace movement, said the peace talks is an opportunity to let the panels understand the problems of the people of Mindanao.

A workshop in Davao is set on February 17-18 at the Edessa Hall, Alexian Brothers Center, Matina, Davao City (near Davao Memorial Park and Philippine Episcopal Church) to formulate the Mindanao people’s agenda.

Around 300 members from the clergy, peace and human rights advocates, lawyers, journalists and teachers, leaders and members of the organizations of workers, peasants, youth and women, are expected to participate in the drafting of the agenda.

“Heeding the call of our flock for an enduring peace, and living up to the challenge of our pastoral imperatives, we hope this shall be our contribution to the upcoming peace negotiations,” Bishop Villasanta added.

For reference :
Bishop Modesto Villasanta, UCCP
Convenor

Media number : 0999-668-1495

 

CLOSING RITUAL. The Feb 17-18 Mindanao Workshop Consultation for the Mindanao Peoples' Peace Agenda concluded with a closing ritual, a symbolic planting of seeds of peace, expressing the Mindanao peoples' aspiration and action for just and lasting peace  ▼

 

           
     
     
     

 

National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Mindanao

Press Statement
19 February 2011

AFP-PNP-CAFGU ceasefire violations in North East and Southern Mindanao are in contempt of the peace process

AFP, PNP and CAFGU units in both the North Eastern and Southern parts of Mindanao have violated the mutually-declared ceasefire, which runs from Feb 15 to 21, of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH).

In the North Eastern Mindanao province of Surigao del Norte alone, 4th Infantry Division military units began offensive combat operations since 12 January 2011, and at the start of the mutually-agreed ceasefire between the NDFP and the GPH on 15 February 2011, these units have not withdrawn from the area and continue to hold offensive positions.

1. In far flung Brgy. Sapa, Claver, February 15, combined AFP troops belonging to the 30th IBPA, 26th IBPA, 75th IB and the CAFGU are encamped in and around the barangay hall, have maintained their offensive combat positions and conducted combat patrols;

2. In far flung Brgy. Lahi, Gigaquit, February 15, combined AFP troops under the 30th IBPA, 26th IBPA, 75th IB and the CAFGU are encamped in and around the barangay hall, have maintained their offensive combat positions and conducted combat patrols;

3. In far flung Brgy. Camam-onan, Gigaquit, February 15, combined AFP troops under the 30th IBPA, 26th IBPA, 75th IB and the CAFGU are encamped in and around the barangay hall, have maintained their offensive combat positions and conducted combat patrol.

Moreover, initial reports from the field shows that the AFP-PNP-CAFGU committed 7 counts of glaring ceasefire violations in many far flung barangays in Southern Mindanao, particularly in the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, and Agusan del Sur.

1. In Sto. Puting Bato, Brgy. Ngan, Compostela Valley Province, February 16, the 5th Scout Rangers Company are conducting offensive combat operations;

2. In Sto. Side Four, Brgy. Manggayon , Compostela Valley Province, February 16, the 5th Scout Rangers Company are conducting combat operations;

3. In Sto. Pagkaw, Brgy. Aragon, Cateel, Davao Oriental, February 16, Scout Rangers have encamped themselves in and around the houses of local civilians;

4. In Sto. Cogonon, Brgy. Salvacion, Trento, Agusan del Sur, February 16, 1 platoon (38 elements) of an unknown AFP unit is conducting combat operations;

5. In Brgy. Macopa, Man-ay, Davao Oriental, February 16, the 67th Infantry Battalion are conducting civil-military operations (CMOs) and are employing psy-war tactics against civilians;

6. In Sto. Matabang, Brgy. Taocanga, Man-ay, Davao Oriental, February 16, 2 companies (120 elements) of the 67th Infantry Battalion are conducting civil-military operations (CMOs) and are employing psy-war tactics against civilians.

7. In Sto. Maitom, Brgy. Tubaon, Taragona, Davao Oriental, February 16, the 67th Infantry Battalion are conducting civil-military operations (CMOs) and are employing psy-war tactics against civilians.

As we enter the fifth day of both the peace talks and the ceasefire, the Government of the Philippines (GPH), under Mr. Benigno Aquino III, must show sincerity in the field by once and for all ordering all AFP, PNP and CAFGU units to immediately cease and desist from continuing all offensive combat and intelligence operations, including CMOs, in Mindanao provinces and the rest of the country.

We call on all peace-loving Filipinos to report at once to the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) Secretariat of the NDFP or the nearest NPA command in your are any and all violations committed by the AFP, PNP, CAFGU and other paramilitary troops against the 7-day ceasefire.

(Sgd.) Ka Oris
Spokesperson
NDFP-Mindanao

 

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National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Mindanao

Press Statement
20 February 2011

More ceasefire violations in Southern Mindanao


AFP-PNP-CAFGU-instigated violations against the ceasefire mutually-declared by the NDFP and the GPH continue as of 17 February 2011 in three municipalities in Southern Mindanao, to wit:

1. Units from the 28th Infantry Battalion, PA conducted (perimeter) patrol and operations in certain barangays in Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental;

2. Elements of the 71st Infantry Battalion, PA encamped in and around a barangay in Maco, Compostela Valley Province and conducted civil-military (CMO) and patrol operations with the vicinity; and,

3. The 5th Scout Rangers Company conducted offensive combat operations in several barangays in Maragusan town, Compostela Valley Province.

As both the initial talks and the ceasefire draw to a close, the armed forces of the GPH remain incorrigible in taking advantage of the NPA’s defensive position in order to score points that it cannot achieve outside of a ceasefire period. These violations, which include the arrest and detention of NDFP consultants and staff, are the indelible marks of the GPH’s hypocritical and disingenuous attitude towards the peace process.

Until and unless the GPH is able to keep its troops at bay inside their respective barracks during a ceasefire, then its pronouncement of being “open” to another round of ceasefire does not inspire confidence.

In this last day of ceasefire, the NDFP in Mindanao calls, as we have repeatedly been calling for since the mutual truce began on Feb. 15, on the Aquino government to show sincerity by ordering, without delay, all AFP-PNP-CAFGU combat, intelligence and civil-military operations in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country.

We call on the Filipino people to further press the Government of the Philippines (GPH), whose principal, Mr. Benigno Aquino III, has stressed himself the need “to engage in peace negotiations to attain a peaceful settlement of the armed conflict,” to be serious in facing the talks and the entire peace process.

We also ask the people to present their own agenda as a way of asserting their being principal stake holders of the peace process. This would surely help hasten the peace negotiation.


(Sgd.) Ka Oris
Spokesperson
NDFP - Mindanao

 

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AFP-PNP-CAFGU ceasefire violations in Bukidnon imperil peace talks
Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos
Spokesperson
National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao
February 18, 2011

Blatant violations are currently taking place in the different provinces of Mindanao against the mutually-agreed ceasefire between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH).

In Bukidnon alone this early, the armed forces of the GPH committed 8-counts of ceasefire violations:

1. In Brgy. Osmena, Dangcagan, 3PM, February 15-16, 2 truckloads of the 8th IB led by Col. Rico Gapuz and Maj. Canutoy and the PNP, led by PNP Provincial Director Bermudo and Dangcagan Police Chief Inspector Evary Bacunawa, forcibly gathered the people to extract intelligence information;

2. In Sto. Rosario, Kitaotao, February 15, 2 truckloads of the 8th IB and 2 patrol cars of the RMG conducted offensive combat patrol. Brgy. Sto. Rosario is 12 km away from the nearest AFP-PNP-CAFGU camp;

3. In Brgy. Kauyonan, Kitaotao, February 15, one squad of the 8th IB conducted commando offensive combat patrol in sugar cane fields. Brgy. Kauyonan is 12 km away from the nearest AFP-PNP-CAFGU camp;

4. In Brgy. Kalumihan, Kitaotao, February 15, 2 truckloads of the 8th IB and 2 patrol cars of the RMG conducted offensive combat patrol. Brgy. Kalumihan is about 15 km away from the nearest AFP-PNP-CAFGU camp;

5. In Brgys. San Nicolas-Banban, Don Carlos, February 15, one military jeep-load of the 8th IB conducted offensive combat patrol. San Nicolas-Banban is 5km away from the nearest AFP-PNP-CAFGU camp;

6. In Brgys. Bagsak-Pinamaloy, Don Carlos, February 15, one M35 military truckload of the 8th IB conducted offensive combat patrol. Bagsak-Pinamaloy is about 4 km away from the nearest AFP-PNP-CAFGU camp;

7. On February 15, offensive combat operations, which started on Feb 10, continue in Quezon, Bukidnon;

8. In Brgy. Namnam, San Fernando, Bukidnon, 8 PM, February 16, one truckload of the 8th IB re-occupied a detachment site they have deserted for a year.

These AFP-PNP-CAFGU ceasefire violations, as what they have shown during the recent 18- day ceasefire, put in question the sincerity of the GPH in its endeavour to attain just and lasting peace. These ceasefire violations endanger the on-going peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH and the overall peace process.

We call on the people to report any violations against the declared 7-day ceasefire.

 

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National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Mindanao

Press Statement
22 February 2011


THE NPA SHOWED HIGH SENSE OF DISCIPLINE AND POLITICAL MATURITY IN OBSERVING THE MUTUAL CEASEFIRE BETWEEN THE NDFP AND THE GPH


The NDFP in Mindanao salutes and congratulates all commands and units of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Mindanao and the rest of the country for its display of a high sense of political maturity, responsibility and military discipline during the mutually-declared seven-day ceasefire between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH).

Also, NPA units in Southern Mindanao, in an act of goodwill and for humanitarian reasons, have released three prisoners-of-war (POWs) on separate occasions during the same period, further creating a more favourable atmosphere and bolster confidence for the peace negotiations and the entire peace process.

In its unequivocal support for the peace talks and the peace process in general, the NPA in Mindanao, maintained its defensive mode from Feb. 15 to 21. The NPA expressed the same sincerity and support during the 18-day ceasefire last Christmas season in spite of the AFP’s provocative civil-military operations (CMOs) and other offensive combat operations.

As of this writing, there has not been a single report from Red commanders of the NPA units in Mindanao stating any armed encounters with AFP-PNP-CAFGU during the week-long ceasefire. Offensive military and intelligence operations, including Civil Military Operations (CMOs), that went on unhampered during the 7-day truce were clearly meant to sabotage the peace talks.

CMOs are not “developmental projects” as bragged by AFP, as these operations harass, threaten and even maul revolutionary masses and other unarmed civilians. The NDFP Negotiating Panel earlier wrote the GPH urging that AFP-PNP-CAFGU forces be stationed back to their barracks and move no farther than two kilometres from their camps. But the AFP launched several offensive military operations like CMOs in the name of “developmental projects” in the hinterlands while the NPA units maintained its defensive mode.

Regrettably, we have witnessed, in contrast, the attitude of contempt of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU towards the peace process.

The AFP-PNP-CAFGU intentionally violated its own self-declared ceasefire in Southern Mindanao Region by launching combat-heavy pursuit operations in the hinterlands of the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Agusan del Sur against the custodial units of the three POWs. In a desperate attempt to justify these operations, the AFP even resorted to fabricating an incident in Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental where they accused the NPA of violating the ceasefire. Reports coming from the NPA unit in the said area categorically pointed out that no such incident ever occurred.

In Mindanao alone, initial reports from the field indicate that AFP-PNP-CAFGU units committed at least 23 counts of ceasefire violations in the provinces of Bukidnon, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, and Surigao del Norte. Similar violations possibly occurred on a nationwide scale as well.

Worse, the AFP’s continued arrest and detention of official NDFP consultants and staff, such as that of NDFP Consultant Alan Jasminez, only shows that the GPH cannot control its mercenary armed forces. It shows utter lack of goodwill and is a serious breach of the JASIG done on the very eve of the commencement of both ceasefire and the formal talks, which does not augur well for the envisioned success of the peace negotiations and the peace process.

Notwithstanding these deliberate truce violations, the NPA, held their fire so as not to disrupt or lay waste chances for the peace talks to prosper. The NDFP – Mindanao remains hopeful that the peace talks could proceed with the hope that it may arrive at a peaceful settlement of the armed conflict.

Aside from the warmongers and the dyed-in-the–wool corrupt within the higher echelons of the AFP, the NDFP-Mindanao calls on all military forces under the GPH to show sincerity by respecting all mutual agreements, including ceasefires, under the on-going peace talks and the whole peace process.

We call on the NPA and the entire revolutionary forces to remain steadfast with the nationalist-democratic struggle as we endeavour to fulfill the requisites to complete the strategic defensive stage and take the people’s war to a higher strategic phase.

We call on the Filipino people, who are in truth the foremost stakeholders in the peace talks, to continue pushing for their agenda in the process of achieving just and lasting peace.


(Sgd) Ka Oris
Spokesperson
NDFP-Mindanao

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
Formal Peace Negotiations Ongoing in Oslo, Norway
     
     
 

 

www.youtube.com

http://www.kodao.org/peacetalks Luis Jalandoni, chief of the NDFP negotiating panel delivers a statement at the opening ceremony of the formal peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Oslo, Norway. http://www.kodao.org/peacetalks

 

National Democratic Front of the Philippines

               Negotiating Panel

 

OPENING STATEMENT

 

by Luis G. Jalandoni

Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Oslo, 15 February 2011

 

 

State Secretary Espen Barth Eide, Deputy Director General Tomas Stangeland, Ambassadors Ture Lundh and Knut Solem, and other members of the Royal Norwegian Government facilitation team, Fredrik Steen, Lisa Golden, Aina Holm and Ida Marstein.

 

Secretary Teresita Deles, Chairperson of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process of the Government of the Philippines (GPH), formerly known as the GRP, Atty. Alexander A. Padilla, Chairperson of the GPH Negotiating Panel, members of the GPH Negotiating Panel Atty. Pablito Sanidad, Mr. Ednar Dayanghirang, Ms. Maria Lourdes Tison, Ms. Jurgette Malonzo, and the other members of the GPH delegation,

 

We in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel wish to warmly greet and convey our heartfelt thanks to the Royal Norwegian Government for its determined and painstaking efforts as Third Party Facilitator in working for this very significant resumption of formal peace talks between the GPH and the NDFP.

 

We are confident that we can advance in the peace negotiations by adhering to The Hague Joint Declaration and subsequent agreements.  We must be guided by mutually acceptable principles, including national sovereignty, democracy and social justice, and that no precondition shall be made to negate the inherent character and purpose of the peace negotiations. We must address  the roots of the armed conflict and arrive at comprehensive agreements on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms in order to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace for the benefit of our people.

 

After more than six years, the formal talks are resumed today. We are pleased that during the preliminary talks, Chairperson Alex Padilla declared that the GPH does not consider the CPP, NPA and NDFP terrorist organizations. We hold the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo government accountable for sabotaging the peace talks by  acceding to or lobbying foreign governments to label and vilify the revolutionary forces of the Filipino people as ”terrorists” and to  submit the internal affairs of the Philippines as subject to the sovereignty of such foreign governments, by speciously suspending the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) in order to level false criminal charges against the panelists, consultants and staffers of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, turning the list of JASIG-protected persons or Document of Identification (DI) holders into an arrest list and causing their illegal arrest, abduction, torture, disappearance and murder; and by undermining or reneging on its commitments to other valid and binding agreements.

 

The Arroyo regime perpetrated gross and systematic human rights violations not only against the NDFP and the revolutionary movement but also against a broad range of legal social activists. It systematically perpetrated more than one thousand two hundred extrajudicial killings, hundreds of frustrated killings, more than two hundred involuntary disappearances, numerous cases of torture, and the uprooting of hundreds of thousands, even millions, of civilians. It also used the notorious Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG), under the rabid militarist and National Security Adviser, Norberto Gonzales, to file trumped-up charges and cause the imprisonment of hundreds of political prisoners.

 

Now, after more than six years of sabotage of the peace talks and invalid suspension of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) by the Arroyo regime, we stand at the threshold of a new beginning. It is imperative that the two negotiating parties do away with the transgressions, gore and filth of the previous regime and pave the way for accelerated and fruitful negotiations.

 

The gross violations and disregard of the agreements signed by both Parties underscore the need for both to reaffirm all previous peace agreements painstakingly forged by them.  It is imperative to uphold and defend the validity and binding character of these agreements and commit ourselves to respect them and comply with their wise and equitable provisions so that we can move forward in our striving to achieve a just and lasting peace in our country.

 

The Arroyo regime's more than six-year invalid suspension of the JASIG has to be definitively erased with a firm compliance with the JASIG so as to guarantee the safety and immunity of all personnel of both Parties who are involved in the peace negotiations. The abduction, illegal detention, disappearance, torture and murder of NDFP consultants and staffers must be subjected to investigation and justice must be rendered to the victims. Past and continuing violations of the JASIG have to be rectified.

 

We are happy to have with us NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms (RWC-SER) members Rafael Baylosis and Randall Echanis. Their presence is concrete proof of the efficacy and respect for the JASIG.   We continue to expect that the GPH work on the immediate lifting of the arrest warrants and the withdrawal or dismissal of charges against them, including NDFP political consultant Vicente Ladlad. We hope that the JASIG-protected and DI holders recently arrested under the Aquino administration are immediately released. We refer to Danilo Badayos, Pedro Codaste, Edwin Brigano, Tirso “Ka Bart” Alcantara, and now Alan Jazmines.

 

 The expeditious release of other NDFP Consultants and JASIG-protected persons in compliance with the JASIG as well as in the spirit of goodwill or for humanitarian reasons is being facilitated by the GPH Negotiating Panel, with Atty. Pablito Sanidad kindly accepting the responsibility and enjoying the confidence of his chairperson for seeing to it that JASIG is effectively applied in order to foster the peace talks.

 

The long suspension by the Arroyo regime stopped the initial negotiations on social and economic reforms (SER). Only parts of the Preamble and Declaration of Principles could be agreed upon. Now there is an even more compelling need for accelerated and sustained negotiations on this second item in the substantive agenda in view of the much worsened social and economic conditions. Both Negotiating Panels have expressed their firm commitment to carry this out through their respective Reciprocal Working Committees (RWCs). The target of six months is being set for the RWCs-SER to draw up the Tentative Agreement on SER.

 

We urge the reciprocal working committees to have a common resolve to uphold economic sovereignty, conserve the national patrimony for the benefit of our own people, promote economic development through land reform and national industrialization, improve the people’s livelihood and develop equitable trade and economic relations with other countries.  In this context, there is no insurmountable difficulty for the reciprocal working committees to draft a tentative agreement that describes and critiques the social and economic status quo and recommends the necessary reforms for separate and joint implementation until there is a Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms.

 

In the spirit of further accelerating the peace negotiations, both Parties have agreed to prepare in advance for the negotiations of the Reciprocal Working Committees on Political and Constitutional Reforms (PCR) through working groups on PCR.  Our Chief Political Consultant, Prof. Jose Maria Sison and Atty. Pablito Sanidad will lead the discussions regarding the concept and formation of the working groups on PCR. Prof. Sison will be assisted by Fidel Agcaoili, Elizabeth Principe as consultant and Dr. Carol P. Araullo as resource person. The working groups on PCR prepare the ground for the setting up of the Reciprocal Working Committees on PCR. While this mechanism helps to accelerate the peace negotiations, the RWC Agreement of 1995 and the Supplemental Agreement thereto of 1997 are respected.

 

At this resumption of formal talks, there will also be the highly significant reconvening of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) which has not been able to meet since June 2004. Although the Joint Secretariat has functioned by receiving complaints, conducting training seminars and issuing publications, among others, with the support of the Royal Norwegian Government. the Arroyo regime prevented the JMC's full operationalization as mandated by the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) by prohibiting its GRP Monitoring Committee from meeting with the NDFP Monitoring Committee.

 

We expect that in reaffirming the CARHRIHL, the release of about 350 political prisoners will be effectively undertaken.  We are glad that during the preliminary talks the GPH Negotiating Panel expressed sympathy and support for the release of the political prisoners.  They deserve to be released like the 400 military prisoners for having been victims of false charges and political persecution and for having struggled against the unjust Arroyo regime.  We are cognizant of the persevering efforts of human rights associations, various mass organizations and social movements in the Philippines and abroad and some members of the Senate and House of Representatives in seeking a principled amnesty for the political prisoners.

 

As stated in the Oslo Joint Statement of 2004, the Parties agree that the release of prisoners and detainees is a continuing confidence building measure, motivated by a mutual desire to improve the atmosphere for peace negotiations and is a benign act of magnanimity.  At the same time it is in compliance with an obligation arising from the CARHRIHL which states that all prisoners and detainees charged with common crimes, detained, or convicted contrary to the GPH Hernandez doctrine should be released immediately. (Part III, Respect for Human Rights, Article 6). 

 

We participate enthusiastically and conscientiously in the resumption of formal talks. We are resolved to do everything we can to make these talks succeed and move us forward towards forging fundamental social, economic, political and constitutional reforms that will address the roots of the armed conflict and be of lasting benefit to the Filipino people. We are glad that both Parties have agreed to a unilateral, concurrent and reciprocal ceasefire as a goodwill and confidence building measure to mark the resumption of formal talks after so many years. We consider such ceasefire a highly significant token and signal of our common desire to advance in the peace negotiations and make up for the lost years during the Arroyo regime.

 

Without prejudice to the established track of the peace negotiations, the NDFP has offered to the GPH a proposal for a concise agreement for an immediate just peace as the basis of alliance and truce for strengthening national independence, empowering the people and realizing the industrial development of the Philippines. This NDFP offer is a challenge to the Aquino regime to release itself from the dictates of US imperialism, especially the already bankrupt neoliberal economic policy and the futile US Counterinsurgency Guide, and to come to terms with the NDFP proposal for alliance and truce in order to strengthen national independence and carry out national industrialization.

 

The concurrence of the political wills of the GPH and NDFP along the patriotic and progressive line can bring about just peace and development for our people.

 

Thank you very much.

  

LUIS G. JALANDONI

Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First part of Kodao Productions' three part exclusive interview with GPH's Ging Deles and NDFP's Joma Sison during the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

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Second part of Kodao Productions' three part exclusive interview with GPH's Ging Deles and NDFP's Joma Sison during the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.

 

 

 

 

 

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Third and last part of Kodao Productions' three part exclusive interview with GPH's Ging Deles and NDFP's Joma Sison during the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

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http://www.kodao.org/peacetalks Government of the Philippines' (GPH) Alex Padilla and National Democratic Front of the Philippines' (NDFP) Luis Jalandoni entertains questions from the media during the opening of the formal peace negotiations between the GPH and the NDFP in Oslo, Norway. http://www.k/

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

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http://www.kodao.org/peacetalks Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, GPH peace adviser, delivers a statement at the opening ceremony of the formal peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Oslo, Norway. http://www.kodao.org/peacetalks

 

           
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