1986 to 2011:

Images of peace talks:between the GPH and NDFP

 

February 28, 2011

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Oslo   February . 15 - 21, 2011
           
     
     
Download the Oslo Joint Statement in Word format

 

 

Related Arkibong Bayan posting:

 

GPH-NDFP Peace Negotiations in Oslo: Opening day ceremonnies, Feb. 15, 2011

 

Liturgical-sultural forum in Manila, formal peace talks in Oslo on Feb. 15. P:osted: Feb. 7, 2011

 

GPH and NDFP to reseme formal peace negotiations Feb. 15-21, 2011

 

The GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations, Jan. 2011

 

Australia peace tour of NDFP's Luis Jalandoni and  Ledesma, Nov. 16-22, 2010

 

Luis Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma in New Zealand: Justice and Liberation: The Road to Peace in the Philippines Posted Nov. 25, 2010

 

Go to: NDFP website

 

     
     

 

CLOSING STATEMENT
by Luis G. Jalandoni
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel


Oslo, 21 February 2011

Ambassadors Ture Lundh and Knut Solem, and other member of the Royal Norwegian Government facilitation team, Ida Marstein, Fredrik Steen, Lisa Golden and Aina Holm,

Atty. Alexander A. Padilla, Chairperson of the GPH Negotiating Panel, members of the GPH Negotiating Panel Atty. Pablito Sanidad, Mr. Edgar Dayanghirang, Ms. Maria Lourdes Tison, Ms. Jurgette Malonzo, and the other members of the GPH delegation,

There is no doubt what we, the Negotiating Panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), together, have achieved this past week. We have moved the peace negotiations forward, breaking the 6-year impasse and inertia caused by the previous Arroyo administration's unilateral and prolonged suspension of the talks, and grievous violations of the bilateral agreements entered into by the two Parties.

But it has been a roller coaster ride all the way, so to speak, and until a few moments ago, no one could be quite sure whether the talks would end up on a high or a low point, or whether it might stall once more.

Such is the nature of negotiations.

The Joint Communique which we will sign in a few moments is eloquent proof of what the two Panels have achieved:

We have reconvened the Joint Monitoring Committee which is tasked to oversee the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

The Reciprocal Working Committees for Socio-Economic Reforms have resumed their work.

We have agreed on the formation of working groups on Political & Constitutional Reforms (PCR) in order to pave the way for the eventual negotiations on PCR by the RWCs.

We have agreed on appropriate measures to be undertaken by the GPH to address the issues on compliance with JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees) and the release of political prisoners.

A general timetable synchronizing all the above mentioned processes for completion of agreements leading to a comprehensive political settlement has been set.

We have drawn on common aspirations and principles in order to overcome inherent contradictions and contrasting perspectives. Each party has bent over backwards from previous hard positions in order to find common ground.

One of the major stumbling blocks that has been removed is the previous attempt by the GRP (government of the Republic of the

Philippines) under the Arroyo administration to use the “terrorist” listing of the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines and New People's Army) and NDFP Chief Political Consultant Professor Sison as leverage in alternately enticing and coercing the NDFP into signing a document of capitulation.

We welcome the declaration of the GPH that the CPP, NPA and NDFP are not terrorist organizations and therefore peace negotiations with us are possible and appropriate. However, much more has to be done in ensuring that all GPH departments and agencies, especially the military and police forces, understand, respect and abide by this position. We note that the PNP (Philippine National Police) Suspension of Operations Order in relation to the ongoing unilateral reciprocal ceasefire declarations by both Parties still refer to the CPP-NPA-NDF forces as “CTs” (communist terrorists) or simply “terrorists”.

Similarly, the GPH backtracked from its previous attempt to impose an indefinite or prolonged ceasefire as a precondition to the resumption of formal talks. The unilateral ceasefires both Parties entered into to mark the resumption of the formal peace talks after more than six years clearly served as reciprocal confidence-building measures.

However, we have received reports from our field units in various areas all over the country that GPH security forces have conducted offensive operations in violation of the current ceasefire, under the guise of civil-military operations (CMOs), defensive and police operations. We would like to stress that while our principals and NPA forces have specifically demanded that the AFP (Armed Forces of the

Philippines) ceasefire include CMOs and other operations that are used as a cover for offensive operations, the AFP SOMO (suspension of military operations) declared the opposite, excluded these very operations, and provided wide latitude for such ceasefire violations.

We have no illusion that the road ahead will be a smooth and easy one. Both Parties declare that the just and lasting peace which is the common aspiration and avowed end goal of the negotiations can only be the result of fundamental and structural socio-economic and political reforms that will benefit the people. However, powerful vested interests, domestic and foreign, stand in the way, and continue to weigh down the peace negotiations.

As the global and domestic economic and political crises intensify, our task of negotiating bilateral agreements that address the roots of the armed conflict becomes more urgent and compelling. We must muster all our political will, continue to find common ground, build principled unity and creatively craft mutually acceptable terms to forge these agreements.

We once more thank the Royal Norwegian Government for ably and patiently hosting and facilitating the peace negotiations, and for this round of formal talks in particular. The success of this round of talks would not have been possible without them.

We put this fruitful and constructive round of formal talks to a close with a note of confidence, guarded optimism and hope, as well as a realistic appraisal of the difficult road that lies ahead. The Filipino people demand and will continue to struggle, by all means possible, for nothing less than a just and lasting peace.

 

Reds, Manila End Oslo Talks with ‘Guarded Optimism and Hope’

By RAYMUND B. VILLANUEVA
The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ended their first formal peace talks in six years with “guarded optimism and hope,” concluding today, February 22, six hard days of bargaining in this Norwegian capital.

 

 
     
 
     
 
 
           
           
The 1986-97 Peace Negotiations

 

Peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) were first conducted in August-December 1986 under the Aquino administration. After signing a 60-day ceasefire agreement, the GRP showed no more interest in discussing the substantive agenda. The talks collapsed after government troops fired on unarmed peasants demonstrating for land reform near the presidential palace, killing nineteen and injuring hundreds, in January 1987. On March 25, 1987, President Aquino unleashed the sword of war against the New People’s Army (NPA) and the revolutionary movement.

 

 

Carol Pagaduan-Araullo

Reality Check
PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 25, 2011
By CAROL PAGADUAN-ARAULLO
Streetwise | BusinessWorld

The resumption of formal peace negotiations between the Philippine government (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Oslo from Feb. 15-21 almost ended in a cliffhanger with the two sides unable to agree on certain key points in the Joint Statement well over the original 3 p.m. timetable for the closing ceremonies. The Joint Statement was finalized at 7 p.m. after more hard bargaining, with the two panels both keenly aware of the ominous implications of not coming up with one at the same time holding fast to what each side deemed to be non-negotiable positions.

It is no mean feat what with clear-cut agreements on steps to bring the negotiations forward. At the same time any impression created in the media by government press releases that the 18-month timetable for arriving at a final peace settlement is a shoo-in and that the NDFP has softened up and is willing to sign a peace accord short of ensuring that basic reforms are put into place must be corrected with a reality check.

The closing statements of the two negotiating panel heads indicate the difficulties that lie ahead as the negotiations hunker down to the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the substantive points on socio-economic reforms, and preparing the ground for talks on political and constitutional reforms while effecting the protection of JASIG for negotiators, their staff, consultants as well as other resource persons.

It is not just mistrust but the wide chasm that has to be bridged in perspectives, understanding of the problems, and preferred modes of resolution that will make arriving at agreements more difficult than the GPH panel seems to recognize and broadcast to the public.

As we see it, the 18-month timetable can only be achieved if the Aquino administration musters its political will to forge agreements that will resolve the roots of the armed conflict, including addressing the problem of landlessness, industrialization, US/foreign domination and control of the economy, etc.

In essence, these are agreements that will benefit the people as against the vested interests of those who are already in power and benefit the most from the iniquitous social and economic system.

If we understand correctly, the NDFP is prepared even now to enter into a “truce and alliance” with a government so long as it co-signs a concise agreement that upholds the national and democratic interests of the people, as culled from the common points in both the GPH constitution and the NDFP’s 10-point program.

However government perspective appears to veer farther from “mutually acceptable principles including national sovereignty, democracy and social justice” as stated in The Hague Joint Declaration.

The GPH, while agreeing to jointly reaffirm The Hague Joint Declaration and all bilateral agreements previously entered into with NDFP, insisted on submitting its “separate and unilateral affirmation with qualifications” as some kind of framework for disagreement — a wellspring for all kinds of future obstacles that the two panels will need to hurdle and could threaten to disrupt the 18-month timetable if not altogether render it impossible.

The NDFP was then compelled to register its rebuttal of the GPH’s qualifications. It asserts that no matter how much the GPH argues that it is the only sovereign power, the reality of dual political power or authority in the Philippines can no longer be denied what with extensive guerrilla zones governed by NDFP “organs of political power.” Moreover, the GPH has had to face the NDFP across the negotiating table de facto as an equal or else there could be no negotiations at all.

It has also been argued by the NDFP that the GPH’s continual acquiescence to US and IMF-World Bank impositions, if not subservience to foreign interests, makes a mockery of its claims of being the sole sovereign power.

The inclusion of national sovereignty as a mutually acceptable framework and foundation principle for the talks was meant to establish and enhance an essential basis of unity and acknowledge that both parties hold this principle as sacrosanct.

It is thus grossly unfortunate that the new GPH panel has chosen to persist on the derogation of what was meant to be an essential anchor for the talks by implying that The Hague Joint Declaration is a source of “perpetual division.”

All this can be explained by the reality that the GPH, as its panel chair reminds us, is not a monolithic creature and cannot be expected to be solidly behind the peace negotiations with the NDFP, much less the goal of forging a political settlement with it. Aside from, or more important than having to deal with the militarists and the powerful elite who benefit tremendously from the iniquities of the current ruling system, the GPH must contend with foreign, mainly US, imperialist interests.

We shall see in the coming months whether or not the GPH under President Noynoy Aquino would or could stand up to such powerful pressures or find ways of circumventing them if it were to join the NDFP as a partner in addressing the roots of the armed conflict in order to reach an enduring political settlement that would lead to a just and lasting peace.

It is deja vu, not quite apparent but very real, as the nation celebrates the fall of a hated dictator and the ascension to the presidency of a most popular widow. The parallel does not end with the replacement of an unpopular leader by the widow’s son 25 years later.

Just as President Cory was faced then with the opportunity to reverse decades of neocolonial and anti-people state policies that served the interests of big landlord and compradors collaborating with foreign capital, so now President Noynoy is facing the real possibility of negotiating a truce leading to the end of decades of civil war.

The GPH call for support from the people is a positive step, but there is a lot more to be done, beyond marching in peace processions, toward building a potent and vibrant peace constituency that could serve this end.

Both the GPH and NDFP must step up their information and peace education efforts to involve the broadest and largest sections of the population in the discourses on social and economic reforms, and eventually, on political and constitutional reforms.

It is only through the people’s support that the two parties can draw the strength needed to withstand all negative pressures, ensure the efficacy of bilateral agreements and the successful end-result of the peace negotiations. In the final analysis, that is the meaning of the people being the true sovereign power, a fact which neither side disputes.

Difficult and daunting as it is, forging and signing a peace agreement is by itself not the guarantee that peace would reign in our land. That peace agreement must be an expression of the people’s will and uphold their interests if it is to lead to the fruition of their long-held aspirations. —

 

 

     

Satur Ocampo and Antonio Zumel

in a press conference whihle still in the underground

Dec. 1986

     
     

The NDFP negotiating panel in a peace forum

sponsored by UP's Alpha Sigma fraternity

Dec. 1986

     
 
           
     
     


Prospects and Challenges Ahead for Peace
by Bishop Elmer M. Bolocon

Executive Secretary of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum

shared during the liturgical thanksgiving activity aptly called

"Morong 43 Revisited and the Challenges Ahead for Peace"

organized by the Promotion of Church People's Response last
February 4, 2011

I thank the Promotion of Church People’s Response for inviting me to contribute my reflection on the prospects and challenges for peace given the resumption of formal peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) this year. The resumption gives us some hope, and some challenges, of course for the success of the talks towards a just and lasting peace in our land.

As an ecclesiastic, I will be speaking from the point of view of my Christian faith. I’m sure you won’t begrudge me for reading my Bible in the course of my reflection.

But first, let me appreciate the decision of the P-Noy administration to return to the negotiation table for the formal talks through its newly re-constituted negotiating panel. The choice of the members of the panel led by Atty. Alexander Padilla, I believe, is just right. With their experience as human rights lawyers during the dark days of Martial Law, they possess the passion for justice and peace.

Our nation and people had long been waiting and working for the formal peace talks to resume. Many institutions, organizations, groups and advocates for peace joined efforts and/or acted separately towards this end. The decision, therefore, of both the GRP and the NDFP is a very much welcome development.

Now, I proceed to my reflection on the prospects and challenges for peace ahead.

If we are to listen to the GRP and the NDFP, both parties claim that they represent the interest of the majority of the Filipino people. But what is said is not necessarily what is being done. This statement is supported by my first Biblical reference from Matthew 23:1-3: “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The Scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they preach.’” These religious leaders say the right things, but do the wrong things.

Let us therefore look at what our government leaders do insofar as the interests of the people are concerned, and also see what the NDFP does. Practice or action speaks louder than words.

The number one need of a Filipino is to live his/her life with dignity, which means that he/she enjoys the basic necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter, health, education. Does GRP provide for these? The basic social services of the government are sorely lacking. We can review the statistics from independent sources and from government official figures as well, and we will see the real score.

The GRP’s economic policy on neo-liberal globalization is the main culprit. Adoption of this policy is tantamount to surrendering our sovereignty to foreign powers, particularly the United States. On advice of the multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, the GRP is implementing liberalization, deregulation and privatization. With liberalization, the entry of foreign products which are cheaper and of better quality than Filipino products competed with and outsold our own products to the detriment of local entrepreneurs and farmers. With deregulation, as in the oil industry on the pretext that prices will go down due to competition, we experienced the reverse: prices went up and continues to rise and the GRP is helpless as it cannot regulate the prices. With privatization, as in drinking water services, the Filipino people also experienced price increases. Another GRP policy which is beneficial not to its citizenry but to foreigners is the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 where foreign mining corporations are allowed and invited to plunder our forests and take their mineral resources. The collateral damage is suffered by the indigenous peoples who are robbed of their ancestral lands, and the people living on the plains who become victims of disastrous flooding and landslides.
(I need not mention the plunder of our national coffers, this is in the news headlines daily.)

Given these policies, and similar ones in line with globalization like export-oriented and import-dependent economy, export of human resources, etc., is GRP really working for the interest of the majority of the Filipino people?
Now let us also take a look at the NDFP and the policies it implements in its controlled areas. We read from its publication “Liberation” that land is distributed freely to farmers who directly till the land, land rent is minimized, usury is abolished, free health services are administered, and crimes are curtailed. Because I don’t have access to other policies which the NDFP adopted, I cannot mention more than what I had said. But given these limited data, if these are true, is NDFP serving the interests of the Filipino people? I suppose so.

In theory and from what they profess, both the GRP and the NDFP are after the common good of the Filipino people. If this is so, then I see no reason why they won’t arrive to an agreement which is beneficial to our nation and our people.
My second Biblical reference comes from Jeremiah, the so-called “weeping prophet” or “prophet of crisis.” The prophet lived during the times of international crisis, where his nation Israel or Judah got entangled with. The world powers then were Egypt, Assyria and Babylon. (By the way, Egypt today is in grave crisis with the residents doing their own version of people power, although not a bloodless one like the EDSA 1. Suffering from widespread poverty, joblessness and authoritarianism, the Egyptian people want their President Hosni Mubarak to resign.) Jeremiah’s political leaders wanted to kowtow with these foreign powers. But the prophet warned them: “What do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria, to drink the waters of Euphrates?” (Jeremiah 2:18). “You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria. From there also you will come away with your hands on your head; for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper through them” (Jer. 2:36-37).

An alliance with a powerful nation, as far as Jeremiah was concerned, would be detrimental to his own nation because what would be served would be the powerful nation’s interests. That was why he told his leaders “you will not prosper through them.” What the prophet wanted was the assertion of his country’s sovereignty in political and economic affairs.
At present, we are also in times of global crisis, politically and economically, and, may I add, ecologically. And what is worrisome is that our leaders are in alliance with powerful nations, especially the United States. In this alliance, which country gains over another? Which profits? Which prospers? Do we? Or are we at the receiving end?

Jeremiah would rather prefer that his nation and its leaders trust in Jehovah alone.“…if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly with one another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever” (Jer. 7:5-7).
Not to go after other gods means to trust in Jehovah alone, the one and only true God, as far as Jeremiah was concerned. Trust in God alone.

I know that within the NDFP, there are people who profess that they do not believe in God. In any democratic country, there is freedom to believe and freedom not to believe. Those people are entitled to their unbelief.

But does the Lord care about proclaiming in words one’s faith? Jeremiah chastised the people of Judah for saying “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord” (Jer. 7:40), while their deeds were contrary to the will of the Lord of the temple. Their religiosity was simply ceremonial, formalistic and external. They did profess, but they did not possess, God. That was profession without possession.

To know God, to believe in God, is to do God’s will, in action. “He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? Says the Lord” (Jer. 22:16).In other words, to do something for the poor and the needy is to know the Lord. In the Bible, the word to “know” is not simply mental or cerebral knowledge, but an intimate relationship. When Mary the mother of Jesus became pregnant, she asked in astonishment, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34, KJV). Surely she knew Joseph to whom she was betrothed. What she meant was that she had not have an intimate personal and sexual relationship with a man. To “know” means to have an intimate personal relationship. In other words, serving the cause of the poor and the needy, meant having an intimate personal relationship with God.

That’s in the Old Testament. But the same idea was repeated by Jesus himself in the New Testament. We are very familiar with Matthew 25: When was it that we saw you hungry… or thirsty… a stranger… or naked and helped you?? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you? (Vv. 37-39). Those people did not even know the Lord. However, the King told them: “I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40, TEV). One does not have to be conscious of doing something good for the Lord in order to be godly. It is enough that one does something good for someone else, especially the poor, the needy, the sick, those in prison, the widows, children and orphans and the like, which is an obedience to God’s will, whether he/she intended it or not to be so.

On the other hand, the other side in the talks, the GRP, professes faith in God. (Or do they? I did not hear them say so, I just suppose they do.) But what are they doing to the poor and the needy and those in prison? Under their watch, the poor becomes poorer, the prisoners are tortured. Their profession of belief in the God of love, justice and peace is negated by their practice.

What does trusting in God mean as far as a nation is concerned?
1. Proper stewardship of what is given to a nation as a trust. We have the material things given us – land, forests, waters and all that is therein. And we have personnel resources, our people with their talents, capabilities and skills. As stewards, we have the responsibility to enhance and develop these resources so that these may be useful for the common good. These resources are sufficient for our people’s needs if these are distributed equitably.

2. These resources are intended primarily for our own people, not for the foreigners who have their own God-given resources.

3. Proper stewardship includes proper management of these resources like:
a. Preservation of the environment
b. Not plundering it or allowing others to plunder it
c. Using the resources in a proper manner, not misusing or abusing it
d. Ensuring that every citizen – young and old, women and men, indigenous peoples, etc – enjoys its benefits

4. Our land is primarily agricultural, and should be so developed. Land should be given to the tillers.

5. There is also the need to develop and nationalize our industry.

If both the GRP and the NDFP through their respective negotiating panels do value our own natural resources and our own people and agree to do all things necessary to develop these by asserting our sovereignty in both political and economic affairs, surely there is good prospect for a just and lasting peace.

My third reading is Isaiah 32:16-17: “Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.”
There can be no peace without justice. The unjust relations existing in our land today needs to be resolved. If the two panels will approve of justice and peace, they will agree on the proposals towards their attainment.

I had the opportunity to read the NDFP’s draft proposal on Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms between the GRP and the NDFP dated February 26, 1998, and I find it very acceptable and nothing objectionable, because the visions of the prophets are contained therein, albeit worded differently. Consider, for example, its

Part I. Declaration of Principles:

Article 1. The parties are governed by the framework of negotiating and agreeing under mutually acceptable principles of national sovereignty, democracy and social justice…

Article 3. The parties recognize that the foundation of the social, political and cultural life of society is its economy.

Article 4. The parties are motivated to forge a comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms by the need to solve the fundamental problems of exploitation, oppression, backwardness and massive poverty, and thereby lay the ground for a just and lasting peace.

Article 5. The parties affirm the basic task of forging the unity of all patriotic and freedom-loving Filipinos in order to eliminate imperialist dominance, feudal backwardness and comprador-bureaucrat exploitation and oppression which constitute the primary obstacles to the attainment of national liberation and social emancipation.

Article 6. The Parties resolve to reverse the current policy of liberalization, deregulation and privatization that has exacerbated the current socio-economic crisis and in its stead adopt a patriotic and democratic standpoint in the formulation and implementation of all socio-economic plans and programs.

Article 7. The Parties assert that in order to harness the full potential of the workers, peasants and other producers and small traders, socio-economic planning must be undertaken in democratic consultations with organs of people’s power from the grassroots upward.

Article 8. The Parties affirm and uphold the welfare of the Filipino people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the ethnic minorities as the primary guiding principle in the utilization of the national patrimony to bring about social and economic development.

Article 9. The Parties agree to undertake forthwith, jointly and separately, an agrarian reform program to dismantle feudal and semi-feudal relations by expropriating landlord property as the method (of) breaking land monopoly in the countryside and to distribute the land to the direct and actual tillers for free.

Article 10. The Parties agree to immediately adopt a policy and draw up a program of national industrialization, with heavy industries as the leading factor and agriculture as the base, to create the basic conditions for a comprehensive, well-balanced and nationally self-reliant economic development.

Article 11. The Parties agree on the expropriation of imperialist, comprador-bourgeois and bureaucrat capital as a crucial factor for self-reliant economic development in order to prevent capital drain from the country and to eliminate foreign monopoly control of the economy.

Article 12. The Parties recognize the plunderous character of the globalization drive of foreign monopoly capital as demonstrated by recurrent economic crises and shall adopt policies to stop the foreign monopoly banks and firms from further exploiting and plundering our human and other resources.

Article 13. The Parties agree to conduct economic reconstruction and development along the principle of securing the people’s welfare, maintaining ecological balance, assuring continuous regeneration of renewable natural resources and judiciously using nonrenewable resources.

Article 14. The Parties affirm, uphold and support the rights and welfare of women, children and youth, the urban and rural poor, migrant workers, national and ethnic minorities, the aged, the disabled and other exploited, oppressed, disadvantaged and discriminated sectors.

Article 16. The Parties hereby forge this Agreement in order to assume their constant and continuing commitment to carry out social and economic reforms and to respect and effect the people’s social, economic and cultural rights.

These principles are great.

I have not had the opportunity to read the GRP’s proposal, if it has any.

If those who profess that they don’t believe in God can have the will to write these things embodied in their proposals which to my mind are biblically-based and in accord with God’s will for the people, I don’t see any reason why those who profess belief in God will not agree with these proposals. And if they do agree, let us all praise the Lord, not in words but in action. Meaning, that we all let justice reign and peace prosper by attending to the needs of the poor and the needy. Widespread poverty will be done away with and the whole Filipino people will dwell in the land with their cups overflowing with milk and honey and coffee and tea! And plates full of food and fruits to boot!

Challenges
What are the challenges ahead of us? What challenges do I pose to all those concerned about the peace process?
The challenge I give to my fellow church people and the churches is to at least pray for the success of the formal peace talks.

The challenge I give to peace advocates is to continue doing their best in concerted action to make the formal peace talks succeed.

What challenge do I give the NDFP? They have done their part well by preparing the necessary drafts on the substantive agenda for the talks.

The greatest challenge is addressed to the GRP. Our government officials are the beneficiaries of the resources of our country. Our President himself is a big landlord, being co-owner with his family of Hacienda Luisita, Inc. Those in the bureaucracy are owners of big businesses. And so are many of those in our legislature, both the lower and the upper chambers. They are landlords and big businessmen and –women. Will they agree to give their land to the tillers for free? Will they commit to reverse the policy on neo-liberal globalization? Will they work for genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization?

We have no problem with the GRP negotiating panel. I believe that they sincerely wish to talk peace and make peace happen in our land. They are not landlords or big businessmen themselves. They may readily agree to the proposals prepared by their counterpart in the NDFP. But they are responsible to their principals. There lies their problem. There lies the big challenge. There lies the obstacle to the resolution of the root causes of the armed conflict. There lies the hindrance to the resolution of the basic problems of our nation and the Filipino people.

But I believe in miracle, I am a direct recipient of one. Let us not lose hope. Conversion of the heart is still possible. Ka Luis Jalandoni, the head of the NDFP negotiating panel, was himself a big landlord. That was Jeremiah’s call to his nation and people, and most especially to the leaders, to amend their ways and their doings, and to return to God, and do God’s will through serving the least of the people.

When we lose hope, all is lost. But God is great, and God can do wondrous things. God’s will for the people is love, justice, peace, and fullness of life. Let us trust that the peace talks will succeed, in spite of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles to it.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!

Bishop Elmer M. Bolocon
Executive Secretary
Ecumenical Bishops Forum

 

Taking a break from the preparations for the peace talks,

Satur Ocampo and Tony Zumel join the funeral of assassinated

KMU Chair Roland Olalia in Novembe 1986

     
     

 

The first GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations in Dec. 1986 to Jan. 1987

 

     
     
     
     
     

 

The NDFP Panel: Satur Ocampo, Antonio Zumel and Carolina Malay

The GRP Panel: Ramon Mitra, Jr., Tito Guingona and Jovito Salonga

 

     
Jose W. Diokno signed the agreement in the hospital
The NDFP Panel with Atty. Romeo T. Capulong and Atty. Arno Sanidad

Sen. Nikki Coseteng and  Antonio Zumel

           
     

Members of the NDFP Negotiating Panel conducted consultations with various units in the field. But the peace negotiations ended abruptly when state security forces fired upon protesting farmers in Mendiola on January 22, 1987, killing several peasants and wounding scores of protesters.

     

The 1998 Peace Negotiations

 

March 16, 1998 – GRP and NDFP negotiating panels sign the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law

Two short agreements are also signed: the Additional Implementing Rules of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) Pertaining to the Security of Personnel and Consultations in Furtherance of the Peace Negotiations and the Joint Agreement in Support of Socio-economic Projects of Private Development Organizations and Institutes

 

MEDIA RELEASE
25 February 2011
For Reference:
Fidel V. Agcaoili
Vice-Chair and Spokesperson
NDFP Negotiating Panel

 

Aquino should exercise political will to seal peace pact with NDFP
February 25, 2011
NDF Negotiating Panel
 

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace negotiating panel said President Benigno Simeon Aquino III should exercise strong political will in addressing the root causes of the armed conflict if he wants to achieve political settlement with the revolutionary forces in the Philippines led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).
 

NDFP peace negotiating panel Vice-Chair and Spokesperson Fidel V. Agcaoili issued the statement in view of the high level of optimism displayed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace negotiating panel led by its chair Atty. Alex Padilla that the Manila government will soon come up with a peace deal with the NDFP in 18 months.
 

“The Aquino regime and its negotiating panel should exercise strong political will if they want to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Philippines. They should be ready to resolutely address the roots of the armed conflict, exhibit patriotism, respect the democratic rights of the people, and work for their well-being.”
 

”They should not base their optimism on a set time frame but on their own willingness to assert national independence, carry out a genuine land reform program and adopt an economic development program based on national industrialization and progressive and enlightened social policies.”
 

“Across the negotiating table, they should abandon the language and tactics of the previous Arroyo regime, adhere to all previously signed agreements, especially The Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), and show determination to end the culture of impunity in the country,” Agcaoili told reporters covering the closing ceremony of the GPH-NDFP formal peace talks in the Norwegian capital.
 

“The root causes of the armed conflict in the Philippines lie deep in the prevailing unjust social order dominated by the local ruling classes of big compradors and landlords supported by the US and other imperialist powers. To forge a negotiated political settlement in 18 months would require the strong determination of both Parties to agree on basic economic, social and political reforms that would satisfy the national and democratic interests of the Filipino people,” Agcaoili stressed.
 

“If President Aquino and his GPH negotiating panel wish to accelerate the peace talks and clinch a political settlement with the NDFP, they should seriously consider the NDFP ten-point proposal for a Concise Agreement for an Immediate Just Peace submitted to the GPH on August 27, 2005. If President Aquino chooses the patriotic path to peace and accept this 10-point proposal, then we can have the peace agreement even ahead of the targeted 18-month time table,” Agcaoili added.
 

Agcaoili noted that the GPH negotiating panel had withdrawn the dates for the second round of peace talks. “If it were truly interested in achieving the set time frame, then it should have been more determined to set the dates for the second round of talks where the two Negotiating Panels would receive reports and check on the work done by the Reciprocal Working Committees on Social and Economic Reforms and the Working Groups on Political and Constitutional Reforms in accordance with the timetable. Instead, the GPH panel decided to engage in petty wrangling in an attempt to impose its will on the NDFP,” Agcaoili concluded.

 


 

     
     
           
     
     
     
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Unite against the fascist forces working against peace
Editorial, Ang Bayan
February 21, 2011
Central Committee (CPP)
 

The darkest clouds that are dimming the hopes of advancing the long-stalled peace talks are the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and its new Oplan Bayanihan (OPB). Rabidly fascist forces have been relentless in their efforts to obstruct and sabotage the talks.
Download PDF; Read all articles
 

Every time there is a glimmer of hope that the talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) will be moving forward, forces zealously working against peace undertake moves to obstruct the negotiations. The AFP’s fascist generals have the gall to declare themselves as peace advocates in the face of their violations of existing agreements and their efforts to malign the NDFP and its seriousness in pursuing talks with the GPH.
 

Fascist soldiers and police forces treacherously arrested Comrade Alan Jazmines in Baliuag, Bulacan on February 14. Comrade Jazmines is one of the most well-known leaders of the Communist Party and a leading consultant of the NDFP in the peace talks. In arresting him, the AFP brazenly violated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). Jazmines was arrested by the AFP on the eve of the resumption of formal talks between the NDFP and GPH, virtually dashing the people’s hopes of achieving a big step forward in the negotiations.
 

Comrade Jazmines was captured a few weeks after the AFP’s arrest of Tirso “Ka Bart” Alcantara. Ka Bart is one of the leading cadres of the Party and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Tagalog and is also a consultant in the peace talks. All in all, 15 NDFP consultants involved in advancing the peace talks have been arrested and jailed by the AFP and PNP. All of them have been slapped with trumped-up criminal charges by the military and police to justify their long-term detention.
 

The AFP has been boastfully projecting itself as an entity that is beyond the pale of agreements entered into by the GPH and NDFP. It arrogantly declares that “law enforcement” operations by the military and police cannot be suspended during the peace talks. Even during the 19-day ceasefire in December-January, the AFP relentlessly sowed terror through “special operations” in villages within guerrilla fronts, and even had the temerity to call them “peace and development” operations.
 

The fascist officers of the Aquino regime have absolutely no interest in seeing the peace talks succeed. All they want is to use the talks to deceive the people and cause the capitulation of the revolutionary forces. To military and police officers, peace means nothing but the suppression and defeat of all of the people’s armed resistance and mass struggles.
 

The military’s antipeace policy is articulated in the OPB, which is in turn patterned after the US Counterinsurgency Guide whose objective is to maintain US imperialist rule in the Philippines and its other semicolonies by subjugating forces advocating national liberation and people’s democracy.
The OPB manifestly shows no interest in attaining a just and lasting peace. Under the OPB, the AFP officers’ avowed role with regard to the peace talks is to deprive the NDFP of any advantage in facing the GPH. This only shows that there is no room in the AFP’s fascist mindset for the conduct of talks between two equals and for mutual efforts to address the issues that lie at the roots of the civil war.
The AFP has also shown that it will not be bound by any existing or future agreements between the NDFP and the GPH. It thus wants to show the people that nothing significant can come out of the peace taks and to push the NDFP to withdraw from the talks to justify the AFP’s continuing intensification of its fascist war against the people.
 

Everyone must realize that the peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH can only succeed if we can put a stop to the efforts of the rabid fascists within the military and police to sabotage the negotiations. The Aquino regime’s policy of unleashing its fascist dogs in the AFP to trample with impunity on all the agreements between the GPH and NDFP, including the JASIG and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) is detrimental to the talks.
 

The Filipino people are one in their desire to achieve a lasting peace based on justice, and thus support the peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH through their widespread resistance to the fascist forces working against peace.
 

We must go all-out to expose and resist the AFP’s rampage and the hollowness of its slogan of “peace and development.” We must resist its fascist terrorism.
 

The revolutionary forces are aware that the NDFP’s negotiations with the GPH can be an effective arena of struggle to attain peace if it is undertaken alongside the people’s mass struggles and armed resistance. The people must therefore advance their national and democratic aspirations through all arenas of struggle. It is these aspirations that form the foundations of the peace they desire.
 

     
     
           
The 2001 peace negotiations in Oslo
           
     

 

April 27-30, 2001 – Resumption of formal peace talks in Oslo, Norway, with official hosting and facilitation by the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG); the following agenda is adopted:

 

1. Exchange of official credentials between the two panels; NDFP presents list of DI Holders in accordance with JASIG

2. Confidence-building and goodwill measures

3. Implementation of CARHRIHL

4. Activation of RWCs on Socio-Economic Reforms and formation of subcommittees under the RWCs

5. Signing of the Oslo Joint Communique (April 30, 2001)

 

     

 

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

Press Release
February 27, 2011

CPP cautious over 18-month peace talks timeframe

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today expressed caution
over the 18-month timeframe set for completing the draft comprehensive
agreements on the remaining items in peace talks between the Government
of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the
Philippines (NDFP).

The CPP issued this statement several days after the negotiating panels
of the NDFP and GPH agreed to complete the draft agreements in the next
18 months. According to the Joint Statement issued by both panels, the
draft Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) may
be completed and signed by the Panels in September 2011; the draft
Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (CAPCR)
may be completed and signed by the Panels in February 2012; and the
draft Comprehensive Agreement on End of Hostilities and Disposition of
Forces (CAEHDF) may be completed and signed by the Panels in June 2012.

"Let us remind ourselves that the socio-economic problems and political
and governance issues at the root of the civil war have been plaguing
the people for the past hundred years, especially the systemic and
inter-related problems of land monopoly, landlessness, feudal
exploitation, rural impoverishment, agrarian economic backwardness and
mass unemployment," said the CPP.

"It would be extremely difficult to resolve such deeply rooted problems
in a little more than a year. This is especially so in the face of
active efforts by antipeace forces to sabotage and derail the talks."

"While we optimistically aim to forge agreements in 18 months, neither
side should give-up in the event that such objectives are met within the
set timeframe," said the CPP. "Giving up after 18 months can only
benefit the ultrafascist antipeace forces in the military, defense and
police establishments who are eagerly waiting for an excuse to go allout
in their fascist onslaught against the people," added the CPP.

"Even now, these antipeace forces in the AFP-PNP have been relentless in
their attacks against the peace process, launching one sabotage job
after another."

 

     
           
     
     
     

 

AFP-PNP-CAFGU perpetrated 27 counts of ceasefire violations in Mindanao
February 22, 2011
Jorge Madlos
Spokesperson
NDF Mindanao Chapter
 

For the information of the general public we are releasing this list of violations on the 7-day ceasefire on the part of all the armed forces of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) in Mindanao.
For its part, the New People’s Army (NPA) in Mindanao, under the leadership and guidance of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-MLM), has faithfully abided by the said declaration and maintained its defensive mode during the same period. The incident at Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental alleged to be a violation of the NPA against the ceasefire was a mere fabrication of the AFP.
In Mindanao alone, the AFP-PNP-CAFGU committed at the very least 27 counts of ceasefire violations, excluding those which are yet to be reported from the field:
In North Central Mindanao Region
 

1. In Brgy. Osmena, Dangcagan, Bukidnon, 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, Bukidnon, 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, Bukidnon, 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, Bukidnon, 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, Bukidnon, 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, Bukidnon, 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.
In North Eastern Mindanao Region:
 

9. In far flung Brgy. Sapa, Claver, Surigao del Norte, 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;
 

10. In far flung Brgy. Lahi, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte, 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;
 

11. In far flung Brgy. Camam-onan, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte, 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.
In Southern Mindanao Region:
 

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

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

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

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

16. 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;
 

17. 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;
 

18. 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;
 

19. Units from the 28th Infantry Battalion, February 16, PA conducted (perimeter) patrol and operations in certain barangays in Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental;
 

20. Elements of the 71st Infantry Battalion, February 16, PA encamped in and around a barangay in Maco, Compostela Valley Province and conducted civil-military (CMO) and patrol operations with the vicinity;
 

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

22. In Brgy. Suwaon, Kapalong, Davao del Norte, February 17, units of the 60th Infantry Battalion PA conducted RSOT operations under the guise of the Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP);
 

23. In Brgy. Gabuyan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte, February 17, units of the 60th Infantry Battalion PA conducted RSOT operations under the guise of the Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP);
 

24. In Brgy. Tiburcia, Kapalong, Davao del Norte, February 17, units of the 60th Infantry Battalion PA conducted RSOT operations under the guise of the Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP);
 

25. In Brgy. Luna, Kapalong, Davao del Norte, February 17, units of the 60th Infantry Battalion PA conducted RSOT operations under the guise of the Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP); and,
 

26. In In Brgy. Florida, Kapalong, Davao del Norte, February 17, units of the 60th Infantry Battalion PA conducted RSOT operations under the guise of the Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP);
 

27. In Sto. Padada, Brgy. Mambing, New Corella, February 20, dawn, 1 squad of the 3rd Special Forces conducted combat patrol.
 

Reports from Far Southern Mindanao and South Western Mindanao regions and from other provinces are still not available as of this writing.
 

For the success of the peace talks and the peace process, it is fervently hoped that the GPH show sincerity and respect by directing its own armed forces to honor future ceasefires and, in a politically mature way, contribute to paving the way for the attainment of a just and lasting peace.

 

     
     
     
     
     
           
The 2001 visit of NDFP panelists  Luis Jalandoni and Antonio Zumel after the April and July 2001 negotiations in Oslo
           
     
     
     

 

19 na Kaso ng Paglabag sa Ceasefire ng AFP sa Bicol
Gregorio Bañares
Spokesperson
National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Bicol
Pebrero 24, 2011


Muling pinatunayan ng mga rebolusyonaryong pwersa ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan at milisyang bayan sa Bikol ang mahigpit na pagtangan sa disiplina at pagsunod sa idineklarang unilateral ceasefire ng PKP at NDFP sa kabila ng tuluy-tuloy na opensibang operasyon at armadong probokasyon ng Armed Forces of the Philippines sa mga sonang gerilya sa rehiyon.

Ipinamalas ng mga rebolusyonaryong pwersa ang suporta at mataas na pagpapahalaga sa usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng Gubyerno ng Pilipinas (GPH) at NDFP upang makamit ang makatarungan at pangmatagalang kapayapaan sa bansa. Mulat na sinunod ng mga rebolusyonaryong pwersa ang unilateral ceasefire na idineklara sa makataong batayan at may layuning ilatag ang mga paborableng kundisyon para sa muling pagsisimula ng usapang pangkapayapaan noong Pebrero 15 hanggang 21.

Sa kabilang banda, tahasang sinuway ng AFP ang sarili nitong idineklarang unilateral ceasefire at inilantad nito ang sarili bilang ultra-reaksyunaryong pasistang anti-kapayapaan at tutol sa usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng GPH at ng NDFP. Hungkag at walang silbi ang idineklarang ceasefire ng GPH dahil hindi nito kayang patigilin ang mga opensibang operasyon ng AFP na nagpapanggap na para sa "kapayapaan at kaunlaran" laban sa sibilyang populasyon at sa mga yunit ng BHB.

Nakapagtala ang NDF-Bicol ng 19 na kaso ng paglabag sa ceasefire ng AFP mula sa mga ulat ng iba't ibang yunit ng BHB sa rehiyon. Kinabibilangan ito ng 14 operasyong kombat at 5 kaso ng malupit na operasyong SOT (special operations team). Labintatlong barangay sa mga bayan ng Casiguran, Gubat at Sorsogon City ang patuloy na inaatake ng operasyong SOT ng 49th IB at 903rd Brigade habang 23 barangay sa bayan ng Aroroy, Masbate ang isinailalim sa operasyong SOT ng 9th IB at 903rd Brigade noong Pebrero 2 hanggang sa kasalukuyan.

Nitong Pebrero 15 kasabay ng pagsisimula ng ceasefire ay sinimulan din ng 2nd IB at 901st Brigade ang operasyong SOT sa mga barangay ng Talintalin, Apod, at Rawis sa bayan ng Libon, Albay. Mag-iisang buwan na rin ang operasyong SOT ng 2nd IB sa mga barangay ng Balabagon at Cavit sa bayan ng Manito, Albay.

Kahit may pinaiiral na ceasefire, nagsagawa ng operasyong kombat ang 42nd IB, 9th ID sa apat na barangay sa bayan ng Goa, Camarines Sur at sa apat pang barangay sa bayan ng Caramoan, Camarines Sur. Naglunsad naman ng operasyong militar ang 2nd IB sa mga barangay ng Quinartelan at Manawan sa bayan ng Camalig, Albay at sa mga barangay ng Maogog, San Roque, at San Vicente sa bayan ng Jovellar, Albay mula Pebrero 16 hanggang 21.

Noong Pebrero 16, walang pakundangang nagpaputok ng mga baril ang mga sundalo ng 9th IB na nag-ooperasyon sa apat na barangay ng Mobo at isang barangay sa bayan ng Uson, Masbate. Labis na ikinatakot ito ng mga sibilyan sa naturang lugar.

Palihim din na pumasok sa ilang barangay ng Bulan, Sorsogon at sa hangganan ng Barcelona at Gubat, Sorsogon ang mga tropa ng 49th IB bago magkabisa ang ceasefire noong Pebrero 15. Ilang araw itong nagtago sa kasukalan ngunit bigong matagpuan ang yunit ng BHB kaya bumalik na lamang sa kanilang mga kampo.

Patraydor na inatake ng isang yunit ng 49th IB ang isang yunit ng BHB sa Bgy. Magdagosong, Irosin, Sorsogon noong Pebrero 16 ng madaling araw. Maagap namang nagpaabot ang mga taumbaryo sa mga pulang mandirigma at ligtas na nakaatras ang yunit ng BHB na walang nangyaring putukan.

Noong Pebrero 21 bandang alas-9 ng gabi sinalakay ng nakadamit-sibilyang mga sundalo ng 49th IB, na sakay ng isang van at 2 motorsiklo, ang Bgy. San Juan Daan sa bayan ng Bulan, Sorsogon. Iligal na pinasok at hinalughog ang limang bahay ng mga sibilyan at hinahanap ang isa umanong kasapi ng BHB sa lugar.

Ipinakita ng gubyernong Aquino na hindi nito kayang pasunurin at disiplinahin ang mga tauhan nito sa AFP upang igalang kahit ang sarili nitong deklarasyon ng ceasefire. Walang katiyakan kung gayon na igagalang at ipapatupad ng gubyernong Aquino at ng AFP ang mga kasunduan na ibubunga ng negosasyong pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng GPH at ng NDFP.

email: greg_banares@yahoo.com/ gb_ndfbicol@yahoo.com

website: www.ndfbicol.wordpress.com
twitter account: www.twitter.com/ndfbicol
facebook account: gregbanares

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

PRESS STATEMENT
19 February 2011
For Reference: Political Prisoners detained in Camp Crame
Prospero F. Agudo, Jovencio Balweg, Alan V. Jazmines, Eduardo O. Sarmiento, Eduardo R. Serrano

FOR PEACETALKS TO PROGRESS, JASIG AND OTHER AGREEMENTS MUST BE COMPLIED WITH

We, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants and staff and other political prisoners at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, denounce utterances by the top leaders and mouthpieces of the military organization of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) that only show their despise and effort to sabotage the peace process.

Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz arrogantly stated that they have no intention at all respecting the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) against arrests and other hostile acts and harm against peace panel members, consultants and staff of either side. Gen. Ortiz outrightly declared that they will continue to arrest NDFP consultants and personnel even if they have JASIG- protected. To prove this, he ordered the arrest of NDFP consultant Alan Jazmines on the very eve of the resumption of peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH and totally disregard Jazmines’ protest against the arrest as he is a JASIG holder and can prove so.

The GPH military is intentionally mocking and sabotaging the peace process with the arrest and insistence that they will continue to do more of the same.

Philippine Army spokesperson Col. Antonio Parlade followed-up Gen. Ortiz statement of contempt of the peace process by deriding the NDFP demand for the release of all political prisoners in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement for Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and as goodwill measure for the continuation and progress of the peace talks. Col. Parlade made a sweeping statement that the political prisoners are actually guerilla fighters and therefore should be charged and should continue to be imprisoned for what he falsely termed as “atrocities” against government forces.

The peace process will not reach any meaningful progress for as long as such fascist and anti-peace positions of the GPH military continue to hold sway.

For the peace talks to have any prospect of meaningfully continuing and for real gains to be achieved in the whole process, the GPH and its armed forces and other agencies must be made to comply with the demand for the immediate release of all detained NDFP peace consultants and staff and some 400 other political prisoners and the full and hampered implementation henceforth of the JASIG, CARHRIHL and other standing peace agreements.

(Sgd.) Prospero F. Agudo (Sgd.) Jovencio Balweg
(Sgd.) Alan V. Jazmines (Sgd.) Eduardo O. Sarmiento
(Sgd.) Eduardo R. Serrano
--
The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) is an organization of former political prisoners in the Philippines. Founded on December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by newly-released political prisoners of the martial law period. SELDA’s primary task is to work for the release of all political prisoners and to see to it that humane treatment of those who are still in detention are complied with by the Philippine authorities. SELDA advocates justice for current and former political prisoners. It calls for the mobilisation of resources in support of political prisoners, former detainees and their families. It carries out legislative advocacy for the indemnification and rehabilitation of political prisoners. SELDA goes into partnership and builds solidarity with concerned individuals and groups for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and all victims of tyranny.

SELDA National Office: 2/F, Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets,
Brgy. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
Tel: 632-4342837 Fax: 632-4354146
Email: selda.phils@gmail.com, selda_phil@yahoo.com.ph
Web: www.seldapilipinas.wordpress.com

 

 Inauguration of the Joint Secretariat Office

June 4, 2004

 

Inauguration of the offices of the Joint Secretariat (JS) in Immaculate Conception Building, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines with the official participation of Paul Moe, RNG Ambassador to the Philippines

 

     
           
     

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CHRONOLOGY OF THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS
BETWEEN THE GRP AND THE NDFP: 1988-2006

By PHILIPPINE PEACE CENTER
UPDATED: May 2006

 

Peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) were first conducted in August-December 1986 under the Aquino administration. After signing a 60-day ceasefire agreement, the GRP showed no more interest in discussing the substantive agenda. The talks collapsed after government troops fired on unarmed peasants demonstrating for land reform near the presidential palace, killing nineteen and injuring hundreds, in January 1987. On March 25, 1987, President Aquino unleashed the sword of war against the New People’s Army (NPA) and the revolutionary movement.

 

Exploratory and Preliminary Talks (1988-1995)

 

August 14, 1988 – As goodwill measure, NDFP issues release order of five prisoners of war (POWs), four lieutenants and a sergeant, held by the NPA Melito Glor Command to GRP representatives after 60 days of detention

December 1988 – In an editorial in its official publication, Liberation, NDFP announces its openness to resume peace talks with GRP; in the spirit of the season, NDFP declares unilateral ceasefire effective December 24-26 and December 31-January 1; and, as goodwill measure, issues release order for six POWs held by the Melito Glor Command since September 25 to GRP representatives

February 1989 – Through chief international representative Luis Jalandoni, NDFP expresses willingness to start a new round of peace talks with GRP if the Aquino government makes an executive proclamation against the renewal of the bases agreement with the US on or before Sept. 16, 1991

July 12, 1990 – European Parliament passes a resolution condemning the Aquino government for its continuing human rights violations, demanding a stop to its total war policy, and recommending the withholding of bilateral aid to the Aquino government

July 21, 1990 – The NDFP declares a temporary unilateral ceasefire in earthquake-affected areas in Northern and Central Luzon and Metro Manila to ensure the speedy relief and rehabilitation of communities; unilateral ceasefire is lifted after two months

September 20, 1990 – NDFP chairman Manuel Romero, in a letter to GRP Pres. Aquino, reiterates NDFP’s long-standing offer for the reopening of formal talks between the GRP and NDFP, comprehensively laying down the NDFP’s strategic view of the peace talks; President Aquino responds positively

September 24, 1990 – NDFP representatives Luis Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma meet with a GRP delegation led by Gov. Bren Guiao in Singapore in informal discussions on the prospects of resuming the peace negotiations

September 26-29, 1990 – GRP emissary Rep. Jose Yap meets separately with NDFP vice chairman for international relations Luis Jalandoni and NDFP consultant Jose Ma. Sison in the Netherlands

October 4, 1990 – Luis Jalandoni and Jose Ma. Sison, and Rep. Jose Yap issue separate but similar statements announcing that prospects are bright for a new round of peace negotiations between the GRP and NDFP; Jalandoni declares that peace negotiations can start without preconditions

December 13, 1990 – European Parliament passes a resolution endorsing peace talks between the GRP and NDFP and encouraging both parties to negotiate and forge a comprehensive agreement for a just and lasting peace through the solution of basic national and social problems and, pending such, to agree on mutual respect for human rights in conformity with the humanitarian norms of war as established in the Geneva Convention and its protocols

August 15, 1991 – On behalf of the NDF National Council, Chairman Manuel Romero issues the NDFP Declaration of Adherence to International Humanitarian Law

September 5-6, 1991 – Discreet exploratory talks take place in Hongkong between NDFP representatives and a GRP mission

September 11, 1991 – NDFP declares a unilateral ceasefire to encourage the GRP Senate to reject a new treaty extending the stay of US military bases in the country

September 13, 1991 – The Swiss Federal Council acknowledges receipt of the NDFP Declaration of Adherence to International Humanitarian Law

September 17, 1991 – GRP Senate rejects new treaty extending stay of US military bases

September 21, 1991 – NDFP declares end to its unilateral ceasefire after GRP President Aquino withdrew the notice of termination already served on the US to close its military bases, and her failure to reciprocate the NDFP ceasefire declaration

August 29, 1992 – Rep. Jose Yap comes to the Netherlands with official written authority from newly-elected GRP President Fidel Ramos to resume official exploratory talks with NDFP.

September 1, 1992 – The Hague Joint Declaration is signed in The Hague, The Netherlands by NDFP vice chairman Luis Jalandoni and GRP emissary Rep. Jose Yap at the Clingendael, The Netherlands Institute of International Relations which receives support from the Dutch foreign affairs and defense ministries and advises the government and parliament on issues of international relations

September 14, 1992 – NDFP announces approval of The Hague Joint Declaration by newly-elected Chairman Mariano Orosa

September 16, 1992 – GRP forms the National Unification Commission with Haydee Yorac as Head; Yorac insists that talks between the GRP and NDFP be held in the Philippines, causing delay in the resumption of the preliminary talks

October 28, 1992 – GRP announces President Ramos’ approval of The Hague Joint Declaration

June 14, 1994 – The Breukelen Joint Statement is signed in Breukelen, The Netherlands

October 10-14, 1994 – GRP and NDFP negotiating panels meet in De Bilt, The Netherlands where:

  • The NDFP protests the escalation of human rights violations by the GRP

  • The two panels agree to appoint their respective “small committee” to draft the joint agreement on safety and immunity guarantees

  • The GRP panel rejects the common draft drawn by the “small committees” of the two panels and unilaterally declares a collapse of the talks

November 1994 – The two panels agree to continue exchanging drafts of the agreement on security and immunity guarantees by fax

February 24, 1995 – The Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) is signed by the two panels in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands

The opening of formal peace negotiations is set on June 1, 1995 in Brussels, Belgium (the GRP panel subsequently requests to move the opening to June 26, 1995)

February 26, 1995 – The Joint Agreement on the Ground Rules of the Formal Meetings between the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels is signed in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.

May 2, 1995 – The JASIG takes effect

May 17, 1995 – NDFP Panel consultant Sotero Llamas, who is under the protection of JASIG, is wounded and arrested by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) troops in Juban, Sorsogon, and subsequently detained and charged with criminal offenses; NDFP demands his release in accordance with the JASIG

Formal Peace Negotiations (June 1995-1998)

June 26, 1995 – Formal peace talks starts between the GRP and NDFP with official hosting and facilitation by the Belgian Government at the International Press Center in Brussels:

  • Exchange of official credentials between the two panels
    Signing of the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees

  • Announcement of the formation and operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (RWC-HR-IHL); the NDFP asks for a recess until the arrival of NDFP Panel consultant Llamas, whom the GRP had agreed to release to participate in the talks

June 27, 1995 – The GRP fails to comply with the JASIG provision to allow Mr. Llamas to join the NDFP panel and unilaterally suspends the formal talks

June 21, 1996 – NDFP Panel consultant Sotero Llamas is released from prison

June 19-26, 1996 – Formal talks resume in The Hague, The Netherlands with official hosting and facilitation by the Dutch Government:

  • Discussions on comprehensive agreement on respect for human rights and international humanitarian law begin; the NDFP presents a 15-page draft while the GRP presents a 3-page draft

  • Preamble of the CARHRIHL is initialed by both panels

  • The two panels sign the Additional Implementing Rules Pertaining to the Documents of Identification of the JASIG

  • NDFP presents list of holders of Document of Identification (DI) to the GRP; GRP objects to the inclusion of former AFP Gen. Raymundo Jarque

July 5, 1996 – NDFP submits to the Swiss Federal Council as depositary and to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as official guardian the NDFP Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I of 1977

July 1996 – For humanitarian considerations and as goodwill measure, NDFP issues release order for two prisoners of war in Mindanao (Capt. Lewel Santos and T/Sgt. Johnny Dalapag) to field officers of ICRC

August 2, 1996 – Swiss Federal Council acknowledges receipt of the NDFP Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions and Protocol 1 and informs the NDFP of its transmittal to the ICRC as official guardian

August 5, 1996 – NDFP announces its Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions and Protocol I and asserts its status of belligerency on the following basis:

  1. The revolutionary people and organizations represented by the NDFP constitute a significant portion of the Philippine population, occupy a significant portion of Philippine territory, and have their own system of government and political principles

  2. The New People’s Army (NPA) operates on a nationwide scale with a central command and under the political leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)

  3. The armed conflict, which is a protracted civil war, has been of an intensity and scale as to require the GRP’s use of its entire armed forces in the name of national defense from 1969 to the present, and the imposition of martial rule from 1972 to 1986

 

November 21, 1996 – AFP abducts NDFP Panel consultant Danilo Borjal, turns him over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) which in turn detains and charges him with criminal offenses; NDFP protests violation of the JASIG; GRP denies the violation, resulting in another impasse in the talks

February 8, 1997 – GRP accedes to NDFP demand for the release of Mr. Borjal in accordance with JASIG; initialing of supplemental agreement to strive to accelerate the talks

March 18-23, 1997 – Resumption of formal talks in The Hague, The Netherlands:

  • The Supplemental Agreement to the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees is signed by both panels

  • Small committees composed of members from both panels are formed to tackle separate items:

    1. Part I: Declaration of Principles and Part II: Bases, Scope and Applicability of CARHRIHL

    2. Additional implementing rules to the JASIG pertaining to the security of personnel and consultations in furtherance of the peace negotiations

    3. A joint agreement in support of socio-economic projects of private development organizations and institutes

    4. Release of political prisoners
      GRP Panel Chair Howard Dee hands over to NDFP Panel Chair Luis Jalandoni the GRP Panel’s documents of acknowledgment for 73 NDFP holders of Document of Identification

April 1997 – NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms is operationalized and drafts a 50-page agreement in preparation for discussions with its GRP counterpart

April 22, 1997 – GRP panel presents “two options”:

Option 1: each agreement on a major item of the substantive agenda may be forged by the Parties and approved by their respective principals separately and may have separate and distinct effectivity dates on the precondition that its implementation shall be “according to the constitutional and legal processes of the GRP”

Option 2: all four agreements on the major items of the substantive agenda shall first be completed by the negotiating panels before they are initialed and submitted to their respective principals for approval, also subject to the precondition that their implementation shall be “according to the constitutional and legal processes of the GRP”

NDFP rejects these options as gross and serious violations of The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees; GRP declares indefinite recess

July 18, 1997 – The European Parliament passes a resolution, expressing appreciation to the GRP and NDFP for their mutual commitment to pursue formal peace negotiations in Europe within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration, supporting all the bilateral agreements the two Parties have reached, and requesting the Commission and the Council to provide and facilitate support and assistance to the Parties in carrying out their formal peace negotiations

July 31 - August 5, 1997 – The RWCs on HR-IHL of both panels initial a common tentative draft of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)

Two other agreements are initialed:

  1. Additional Implementing Rules of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) Pertaining to the Security of Personnel and Consultations in Furtherance of the Peace Negotiations

  2. Joint Agreement in Support of Socio-economic Projects of Private Development Organizations and Institutes

August 1997 – GRP panel submits August 5 common tentative draft to GRP cabinet cluster on internal security, which rejects it and instructs the GRP panel to reformulate the draft

August 22, 1997 – GRP panel submits to the NDFP its Reformulated Draft of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law; NDFP rejects it as a mutilation and cannibalization of the August 5 common tentative draft

August 26 - October 7, 1997 – NDFP Panel member Fidel Agcaoili conducts consultations with NDFP forces and various individuals and groups, including people’s organizations; meets GRP President Ramos

October 30, 1997 – An NPA unit captures Rodriguez, Rizal, Police Chief Maj. Rene Francisco and M/Sgt. Joaquin Melad in a raid on the Rodriguez, Rizal, municipal hall

November 11, 1997 – GRP Panel Chairman Dee announces the suspension of the peace talks between the GRP and NDFP

December 5, 1997 – As goodwill and confidence building measure, the NDFP issues release order of P/Maj. Francisco and M/Sgt. Melad to the ICRC after securing GRP suspension of military and police operations for the safe and orderly release of the POWs and the safety of the NPA custodial forces, the surrounding communities and ICRC representatives

January 2, 1998 – Also as goodwill and confidence building measure, the NDFP issues release order of Police SP03 Martellano Magtagad to the ICRC by the NPA’s Lucio de Guzman Command of Southern Tagalog

January 6-10, 1998 – Resumption of peace talks in The Hague, The Netherlands

The two panels initial the draft of Parts 1, 11 and III of the CARHRIHL except for Article 5, Part III and exchange drafts on the provisions on respect for International Humanitarian Law

January 13-27, 1998 – Luis Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma, NDFP panel chairperson and member, respectively, conduct consultations with NDFP forces and other organizations, groups and individuals interested in the progress of the peace negotiations; high point of their visit is a meeting with political prisoners and with GRP President Ramos

January 28-31, 1998 – Parts IV, V and VI which constitute the second half of CARHRIHL are initialed by both panels; only Article 5, Part III remains unresolved with the panels agreeing to immediately work on a mutually acceptable formulation

March 16, 1998 – GRP and NDFP negotiating panels sign the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law

Two short agreements are also signed: the Additional Implementing Rules of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) Pertaining to the Security of Personnel and Consultations in Furtherance of the Peace Negotiations and the Joint Agreement in Support of Socio-economic Projects of Private Development Organizations and Institutes

Drafts of Social and Economic Reforms are exchanged

April 10, 1998 – NDFP Chairman Mariano Orosa approves the CARHRIHL

August 7, 1998 – GRP President Joseph Estrada approves the CARHRIHL

Suspension of Formal Talks and Termination
of Peace Negotiations (1998-2001)

October 27-29, 1998 – GRP delegation headed by Sen. Franklin Drilon holds informal talks with NDFP panel. The GRP delegation:

  1. Raises objections to and proposes to delete Art. 4 Part III and Art. 6 Part IV of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)

  2. Proposes that the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) be placed under the Office of the President of the GRP

Both proposals are rejected by the NDFP as tantamount to capitulation and a violation of The Hague Joint Declaration; GRP suspends formal talks

January 14, 1999 – The European Parliament passes a resolution, congratulating the GRP and the NDFP for their success in forging the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), welcoming all the expressions and acts of good intentions of the GRP and NDFP, supporting all their common and separate efforts to apply the International Bill of Rights and International Humanitarian Law, and requesting the Commission and the Council to provide support and assistance to the Parties in the implementation of the CARHRIHL

February 1999 – The NPA captures 4 AFP/PNP officers in succession in Mindanao and Bicol: General Obillo and Maj. Montealto in Davao del Norte, P/Maj Bernal in Bicol, and Sgt. Lozada in Surigao Sur.

February 24, 1999 – GRP President Estrada declares unilateral suspension of peace negotiations and the JASIG

April 9-27, 1999 – For humanitarian consideration and act of goodwill, NDFP issues the release order of the 4 AFP/PNP officers and Sgt. Wivino Demol of the PA-Intelligence Security Group to the ICRC and the Humanitarian Mission headed by Senator Loren Legarda, Bishops Tomas Millamena and Fernando Capalla after securing GRP suspension of military and police operations in release areas

May 27, 1999 – Philippine Senate ratifies the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), granting US military forces unlimited access to and use of Philippine ports and airports in violation of the principle of national sovereignty and GRP’s own constitution

May 29, 1999 – NDFP announces its Recognition of De-facto Termination of the Peace Negotiations by the GRP

May 31, 1999 – GRP sends formal notice of termination of peace negotiations and the JASIG to the NDFP

June 11, 1999 – NDFP formally acknowledges GRP’s termination of peace negotiations

January 2000 – Upon representation of a humanitarian mission headed by Senator Loren Legarda, Bishops Tomas Millamena and Jesus Varela, NDFP agrees to issue release orders of P/Maj. Abelardo Martin and PA/Intelligence Officer Maj. Noel Buan provided GRP suspends military and police operations in the release area; NDFP issues its updated position on POWs; GRP military stages a failed rescue operation of Martin, resulting in his death and the wounding of an NPA fighter

October 2000 - January 2001 – During the campaign to oust President Estrada, Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declares that if and when she assumes the presidency, she would “reverse the all-out-war policy of the Estrada government and resume peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)”; shortly after being sworn into office, President Macapagal-Arroyo reconstitutes the GRP negotiating panels for talks with both the NDFP and MILF

Resumption and Virtual Termination
of Peace Negotiations (2001-2006)

March 9, 2001 – GRP-NDFP negotiating panels hold informal talks and agree to:

  1. Resume formal talks on April 26-29, 2001 in Oslo, Norway

  2. Uphold the validity of all previously signed agreements

  3. Undertake goodwill and confidence-building measures including the release by the GRP of political prisoners and the release by the NDFP of PA/Maj. Noel Buan

March 27, 2001 – GRP President Macapagal-Arroyo declares reinstatement of the effectivity of the JASIG; NDFP Chairman Orosa declares likewise

April 6, 2001 – On orders of the NDFP National Executive Committee, the NPA Melito Glor Command releases Maj. Buan in Oriental Mindoro to the ICRC and a GRP delegation as goodwill and confidence-building measure, after securing GRP suspension of military and police operations in the release area

April 18, 2001 – Solidarity Conference in support of GRP-NDFP Peace Talks, is held in Westin Plaza Hotel, Manila, with Antonio Zumel, NDFP Senior Adviser, Luis Jalandoni and top GRP officials in attendance; Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma meet President Macapagal-Arroyo

April 27-30, 2001 – Resumption of formal peace talks in Oslo, Norway, with official hosting and facilitation by the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG); the following agenda is adopted:

  1. Exchange of official credentials between the two panels; NDFP presents list of DI Holders in accordance with JASIG

  2. Confidence-building and goodwill measures

  3. Implementation of CARHRIHL

  4. Activation of RWCs on Socio-Economic Reforms and formation of subcommittees under the RWCs

  5. Signing of the Oslo Joint Communique (April 30, 2001)

 

June 1, 2001 – Informal meeting of RWC-SER subcommittees in Antipolo, Rizal

June 10-14, 2001 – Second round of formal peace talks in Oslo, Norway, with official hosting and facilitation by the RNG; GRP hands over Letters of Acknowledgement for DI Holders; talks are suspended by the GRP on June 12 in protest over the death of Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo, a notorious human rights violator during the Marcos martial law regime

September 2001 – GRP and NDFP agree to resume formal peace talks on Sept 21-25. However, even with the extensive and meticulous preparations by the RNG, the talks are aborted after GRP Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes called for a special meeting of the Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security (COC-IS) which reversed the GRP Panel decision to resume formal talks and instructed GRP Panel Chair Bello and panel member Sec. Hernani Braganza to proceed to Oslo and hold informal or “backchannel” talks instead with the NDFP panel

November 11-14, 2001 – Backchannel talks in The Netherlands between the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels to discuss the following:

  1. Confidence-building measures

  2. Finalize draft of operational guidelines for the JMC

  3. Finalize draft of joint statement on resumption of formal peace talks

  4. Release of Sgt. Jeremias Rosete, Jr and three others captured by the NPA for espionage in Far South Mindanao

November 22, 2001 – GRP Speaker de Venecia calls Prof. Sison from Mexico after attending talks between US Pres. Bush and Pres. Arroyo in Washington; De Venecia warns the NDFP that the US government will include the CPP-NPA-NDFP in its list of foreign terrorist organizations, and that the GRP can try to convince the US government not to do so provided the NDFP agrees to sign a final peace agreement with the GRP within three months; Prof. Sison invites de Venecia for informal talks in The Netherlands

November 30 - Dec 1, 2001 – Backchannel talks in The Netherlands between GRP delegation composed of Speaker De Venecia, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Gen. Eduardo Ermita, Bello, Jose Yap and Presidential Management Staff Head Silvestre Afable and NDFP panel members and consultants

Agenda:

  1. GRP proposal – a 3-page draft of Final Peace Agreement.

  2. NDFP counterproposal: Document of Understanding to Accelerate the Peace Negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP

  3. Confidence-building measures

The two sides work on the two drafts and finally agree on a joint “Document of Understanding to Accelerate the Peace Negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP” after marathon negotiations lasting till the wee hours of December 2; the joint document of understanding is rejected purportedly by the COC-IS when the two Parties arrived in Oslo for a meeting with the RNG prime minister

December 2, 2001 – GRP delegation and NDFP negotiating panel meet newly elected Prime Minister Kyell Magne Bondevik of the RNG. PM Bondevik promises that the Norwegian government will continue to act as facilitator and supporter of the peace negotiations

December 14, 2001 – In a forum for peace attended by GRP representatives and consultants of the NDFP at the Philippine Asian Center, Speaker de Venecia confirms the move of the US government to classify the NDFP and NPA as “terrorist groups”

December 15, 2001 – January 15, 2002 – NDFP declares one-month unilateral ceasefire on humanitarian grounds and act of goodwill to allow the armed personnel of both sides to celebrate the holiday season

January 9-10, 2002 – Backchannel talks (Bello and Braganza for GRP, Jalandoni, Agcaoili and Ledesma for NDFP) in The Netherlands
The GRP verbally presents to NDFP a proposal for a “single final peace agreement” as the culmination of a series of backchannel or informal talks; no written proposal is submitted to the NDFP; the NDFP Panel replies that since the proposal is a major departure from the The Hague Joint Declaration, it will be referred to the NDFP National Executive Committee

March 16, 2002 – GRP suspends formal talks with NDFP and announces preference for informal or backchannel talks to arrive at “a settlement within the framework of the GRP Constitution”; Malacanang calls on the NPA and MILF to “lay down your arms… join the mainstream of society”

April 12, 2002 – NDFP National Executive Committee issues its decision on GRP proposal for a “single peace agreement,” declaring it a proposal to abandon previous agreements and end formal peace talks

July 2002 – For the second time after March 2002, GRP refuses to issue suspension of military and police operations for the safe and orderly release of Sgt. Rosete and three others to a humanitarian mission headed by Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez; NDFP Executive Committee withdraws its decision to release them on humanitarian grounds to allow the revolutionary movement’s justice system to take its course

August 5, 2002 – Shortly after the visit of US State Secretary Colin Powell to the Philippines, President Macapagal-Arroyo announces the redeployment of troops involved in the just-concluded “Balikatan 02-1 RP-US Joint Military Training Exercise” to various NPA-controlled areas throughout the country, virtually declaring “all-out war” on the revolutionary movement

August 9, 2002 – US State Secretary Powell announces the inclusion of the CPP-NPA in the US list of “foreign terrorist organizations”

August 10, 2002 – Prof. Sison issues statement condemning the US and Philippine governments for being in cahoots with each other in the designation of the CPP and NPA as “terrorists” in a futile psywar attempt to intimidate and push them towards capitulation

Prof. Sison warns that the designation of the CPP and NPA as “terrorists” is likely to lead to the termination of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and to the intensification of the civil war and even to a war of national liberation against US aggression, if the US troops join the puppets in combat against the NPA

August 12, 2002 – US Treasury Department announces financial sanctions including freezing of assets on the CPP-NPA and Professor Sison, who is also listed by the US as an “international terrorist”
August 13, 2002 – The Netherlands issues sanction regulations against CPP-NPA and Prof. Sison as “terrorists” and orders the freezing of Prof. Sison’s bank account, containing allowances received from the Dutch government as a recognized political refugee

August 14, 2002 – GRP President Macapagal-Arroyo adopts nine-point guidelines in dealing with the CPP-NPA, welcoming the US listing and practically opting for a military solution to the armed conflict.

September – October 2002 – Questions on the “terrorist listing” of the CPP-NPA and Prof, Sison are raised in the European Parliament and the national parliaments of Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Spain; 23 members of the European Parliament (MEP), 27 Swedish MPs, 10 Dutch MPs, 5 Danish MPs, 3 Belgian MPs, and one MP each from New Zealand and Canada and prominent religious, civic, human rights and international law personalities and organizations from Europe, as well as the following leaders from the Philippines: Vice-President Teofisto Guingona, Senate Majority Leader Loren Legarda, 8 MPs, two former senators, 19 Bishops (both Catholic and Protestants), the Chair of the National Council of Churches, writers, artists, academicians and more, sign petition to protest the “terrorist listing” of the CPP-NPA and Prof. Sison

October 28, 2002 – The European Council of Ministers announces its decision to include the NPA and Prof. Sison in its “terrorists list”

October 31, 2002 – GRP Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople announces that a GRP special mission which he headed had successfully campaigned among European Union member countries to include the NPA and Prof. Sison in the European Council’s “list of terrorists”. In saying that “the purpose of the diplomatic initiative was to bring pressure on the Communists to agree to go back to the negotiating table and discuss a comprehensive peace settlement…” GRP Secretary Ople confirms NDFP charge that the GRP is using the “terrorist listing” as leverage to force the NDFP to capitulate

January 17, 2003 – The GRP COC-IS finalizes the draft “Final Peace Accord” and submits it to President Macapagal-Arroyo for approval

January 30, 2003 – The GRP panel transmits by fax the draft 29-page “Final Peace Accord” to the NDFP; RNG, through State Secretary Vidar Helgesen, retransmits it by fax on February 14, 2003

February 19, 2003 – Exploratory or “backchannel” talks are held between a GRP delegation (Bello and Afable) and NDFP delegation (Jalandoni, Agcaoili and Ledesma) to explore possibilities for the resumption of formal talks; GRP delegation declares “indefinite recess” after impasse is reached on whether or not the GRP violated bilateral agreements in campaigning for the “terrorist listing” of the NPA and Prof. Sison and putting the NDFP under duress by pressuring it to accept GRP’s “Final Peace Accord”

June 2003 – State Secretary Vidar Helgesen of RNG shuttles between The Netherlands and the Philippines to meet NDFP panel and GRP officials and panel on the prospects of resuming the peace negotiations
June 26-28, 2003 – Informal talks in The Hague, The Netherlands between a GRP delegation composed of Speaker de Venecia, Gov. Jose Yap, Sec. Norberto Gonzales and Bello and the NDFP Panel to explore possibilities for resuming formal talks

October 9-11, 2003 – Informal talks in Oslo, Norway, with hosting and facilitation by the RNG; discussions on the guidelines for the JMC; possible assistance of a Swiss NGO, Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, on behalf of the RNG

November 20-21, 2003 – Informal talks in Oslo, Norway where a draft joint statement for the resumption of the peace negotiations is agreed upon; draft joint statement is signed on January 13, 2004, by the chairmen of the two negotiating panels

February 10-14, 2004 – Formal talks resume in Oslo, Norway, with hosting and facilitation by the RNG. First Oslo Joint Statement is issued on February 14 2004, containing, among others, agreement to adopt effective measures to resolve the issue of “terrorist listing” in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration, the JASIG and the CARHRIHL, to form the JMC with the signing of the Operational Guidelines for the Joint Monitoring Committee, to set aside USD150 million from the USD684 million forfeited Marcos ill-gotten wealth for the indemnification of the victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime, and to release political prisoners. Role of RNG as Third Party Facilitator is agreed upon by both parties

March 28 - April 3, 2004 – Second round of formal talks takes place in Oslo, Norway, with hosting and facilitation by the RNG. Second Oslo Joint Statement is issued on April 3, 2004, containing, among others, agreement to take further steps to resolve the issue of “terrorist listing” and call on the international community to refrain from any action that may impede or impair the peace process, and to release political prisoners in a list of 32 submitted by Karapatan, including those already ordered release by President Macapagal-Arroyo in 2001 such as the Mamburao 7. JMC is formally convened and holds its first meeting

April 15, 2004 – Joint Secretariat of the JMC is formally convened at the compound of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in Intramuros, Manila after the second meeting of the JMC in Manila

June 4, 2004 – Inauguration of the offices of the Joint Secretariat (JS) in Immaculate Conception Building, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines with the official participation of Paul Moe, RNG Ambassador to the Philippines

June 22-24, 2004 – Third round of formal talks in Oslo, Norway, with hosting and facilitation by the RNG; no joint statement is issued but two small agreements are signed: Partial Supplemental Guidelines for the Joint Monitoring Committee and Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Third Party Facilitator, the Royal Norwegian Government

July 7, 2004 – NDFP accuses GRP of negotiating in bad faith and reneging on its obligations to set aside in an escrow account USD150M for the indemnification of the victims of human rights violations, after the NDFP learns that the full amount of USD680M of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth has been transferred to the national treasury on March 12, 2004 with the termination of the custodianship agreement between the GRP and the Philippine National Bank (PNB)

July 25-29, 2004 – NDFP Panel conducts consultations with its RWC-SER in The Netherlands through the facilitation of RNG and finishes a new draft of its Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) in accordance with previous round of discussions with GRP RWC-SER; NDFP adopts a concrete proposal for moving the negotiations on CASER forward

August 10, 2004 – US retains CPP, NPA and Prof. Sison in list of “foreign terrorist organizations and individuals”; NDFP postpones formal talks scheduled for August 24-30 in order to give time to GRP to comply with its obligations in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration, JASIG, CARHIRHL and Oslo Joint Statements 1 and 2

August 15, 2004 – NDFP issues release order on humanitarian grounds for two POWs in Bicol (Lt. Ronaldo Fedelino and Pfc. Ronel Nemesio) to GRP representatives and ICRC after securing GRP suspension of military and police operations in two provinces

October 19, 2004 – GRP President Arroyo instructs the national security agencies of the government to “come up with a comprehensive reassessment of our strategy vis-à-vis the CPP-NPA and a review of our negotiations with the NDFP”

November 3-18, 2004 – NDFP Panel and NDFP-MC conduct consultations with NDFP-JS in The Netherlands through the facilitation of RNG

December 16-17, 2004 – Informal talks in Utrecht, The Netherlands, with GRP delegation composed of Sec. Bello, Gov. Yap and former GRP labor secretary Nieves Confesor and NDFP panel members (Jalandoni and Agcaoili) and Prof. Sison; GRP proposes indefinite or prolonged ceasefire as a precondition to the resumption of formal talks

January 2005 – GRP Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles and Presidential Chief of Staff Norberto Gonzales tour Europe for six days after NDFP reveals confidential information that Gonzales has recommended the assassination of Prof. Sison in a GRP cabinet meeting presided by Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo

February 16, 2005 – GRP announces recomposition of its panel

March 15, 2005 – Police storm Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, Metro Manila after Moro detainees falsely accused of membership in the Abu Sayyaf stage a protest action against inhuman prison conditions, killing and injuring elderly and minors included in Annex A of the 2nd Oslo Joint Statement

June 1-5, 2005 – NDFP conducts consultations with RNG as Third Party Facilitator to discuss the resumption of formal talks and presents idea of extended or cumulative ceasefires related to socio-economic projects which are localized but to be mutually and centrally approved by the GRP and NDFP and run by the local people with the direct assistance of foreign governments

June 23-25, 2005 – Dialogue between NDFP Panel and the Special Committee on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity of the GRP House of Representatives; draft joint statement is agreed upon after two days of discussions; Speaker de Venecia mangles the draft joint statement after consultations with COC-IS

August 4, 2005 – GRP unilaterally suspends the JASIG; NDFP protests unilateral suspension as a violation of the provisions of JASIG

August 28-30, 2005 – Informal talks in Oslo, Norway. GRP delegation informs the NDFP delegation its only mandate is to negotiate a ceasefire and not to negotiate the resumption of formal talks; NDFP protests widespread and systematic violations of human rights and against impunity

August 27, 2005 – NDFP delegation provides GRP delegation with the ten-point Concise Agreement for an Immediate Just Peace by the NDFP National Council

January 2006 - RNG on terror listing

March 1, 2006 – GRP court imposes death penalty on Mamburao 7

March 16, 2006 – On behalf of the heirs of victims and for Bayan, Karapatan-Southern Tagalog, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Pamalakaya and Karapatan-Southern Mindanao, Karapatan-National, assisted by the Public Interest Law Center (PILC), file a complaint/communication against GRP with the UN Human Rights Committee in New York; the complaints/communications were brought on the basis of violations of the 1966 International Covenanant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), through its Optional Protocol, both of which were signed and ratified by the GRP

March 2006 - RNG on PD 1017

February – March 2006 – GRP charges with rebellion NDFP Chief Political Consultant Prof. Sison, NDFP Panel Chair Luis Jalandoni, NDFP Panel members Fidel Agcaoili and Juliet Sison, NDFP Panel Consultants Vicente Ladlad, Rafael Baylosis, Randall Echanis, Rey Claro Casambre and threatens their arrest; GRP turns the list of NDFP personnel and consultants accorded safety and immunity under the JASIG into a list of persons charged with rebellion and subject to warrantless arrest   ###

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
▼ August 2004 Peace Forum with Jalandoni and Bello   ▼
     
     
 
 

▼  BONUS TRACKS  ▼

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

           
   
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