Sowing Seeds of Peace Forum Series

on the GPH-NDF Peace Talks


Davao City  - April 12, 2011


Malaybalay, Bukidnon - April 28, 2011I







Sowing Seeds of Peace Forum Series on GPH-NDF Peace Talks, Malaybalay, Bukidnon April 28, 2011

The peace forum was held last April 28 in Malaybalay, Bukidnon at the Kaamulan Open Theatre. The wide round theater is filled with 500 participants from the local government units, academe, indigenous peoples and other sectoral representatives. The forum was spearheaded by Vice Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri and Bishop Felix Calang, IFI Diocese of MOBUCA

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Sowing Seeds of Peace Forum Series on GPH-NDF Peace Talks, Davao City April 12, 2011

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Photos and captions courtesy of Sowing Seeds of Peace

12 April 2011
GPH-NDF peace panels now talking on addressing roots of armed conflict

DAVAO CITY --- They are now discussing the root cause of the armed conflict but there remain differences in perspectives. This was the update shed by representatives of the panels negotiating in the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and National Democratic Front (NDF) at a forum held in Davao City today.

It was the first time that both panels were represented in a forum since the resumed talks began in Oslo, Norway last February. The GPH panel was represented by Ednar Dayanghirang, and the NDF, by Fidel Agcaoili, currently the vice-chair of the NDF peace panel.

Both took the chance to share to the public the discussions that transpired in the negotiations, among others, contentious issues on land reform and national industrialization, ceasefire, use of landmines, timeframe of the talks and sincerity of both parties.

While the NDF shares with the GPH perspective on corruption as reason for poverty, it maintains that it is wrong to say that armed conflict is the cause of underdevelopment.

“Sa amin ang ugat ng kahirapan ay kawalan ng lupa kaya ang pagkakaroon ng land reform ay hinihiling namin, (On our part, we believe that poverty is rooted on land deprivation that is why we seek land reform),” cited Agcaoili.

Aside from landlessness, Agcaoili said, foreign domination on the country’s economy which causes the country’s underdevelopment should also be addressed, hence, their demand for national industrialization.

Both also have differing issues on ceasefire. While the GPH dares the NDF to declare ceasefire as a way to show to the people sincerity in the talks, the NDF however, maintains that laying down arms at a time when conditions that breed oppression remain, is similar to condoning it.

“Para na rin nating sinabi na hayaan na manatiling backward ang lipunan, (It is just like saying that we can just let the country be as backward as how it is now,” Agcaoili said, adding that they are even willing to enter into a truce with President Benigno Aquino III if only to meet demands for genuine land reform and national industrialization for the country.

“If President Aquino agrees to the 10-point agreement, then we shall take it as a sincere gesture, a show of strong political will,” Agcaoili said.

The 10-point draft agreement, Agcaoili said, embodies principles on genuine land reform, resistance to domination of foreign powers on the economy, as well as progressive social policies, among other demands, that they wish for the Aquino government to adhere to in order to solve the country’s perennial problems of underdevelopment and deprivation of its people.

However, GPH’s Dayanghirang said they have not officially taken cognizance of the document, but the said draft agreement, as pointed out, had been formally presented by the NDF to the previous GPH negotiating panel in 2005.

Dayanghirang said the GPH is optimistic of the prospects of the peace talks “because it has an 18-month time frame” but for Agcaoili, the talks can even be hastened if the Aquino government shows sincerity. “We are offering to the Aquino government to become our partners in addressing root causes of armed conflict,” Agcaoili said.

The peace talks will continue in June to discuss on the socio-economic reform agenda, which both panels agreed on its February Joint Statement to sign a comprehensive agreement by September this year.

The forum was organized by the Mindanao Movement for a Just and Lasting Peace “Sowing the Seeds of Peace,” together with the Exodus for Justice and Peace (EJP). It was attended by peace advocates, members of religious, academe, lawyers, professionals and business sector groups.
Local government officials and their representatives were also present.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte who gave the opening remarks, thanked the organizers and maintained that Davao City shall remain supportive of initiatives for peace. The gathering, she pointed out, is a good way to keep the people updated on whatever agreements both panels forge.

Among the other local government officials present were Governor Lala Talino-Mendoza of North Cotabato province, representatives from the office of Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, Atty Reynaldo Castillo, the Vice-Mayor of Compostela in Compostela Valley. Village officials of gold-rich Mt. Diwata inMonkayo, Compostela Valley province, as well as village officials in North Cotabato and Davao City also attended the forum.

Bishop Modesto Villasanta Jr., of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP), one of the convenors of Sowing the Seeds of Peace said the forum was a good chance for the people to understand the problems of the people, and how its root causes can be solved, and how they can take part to achieve it.

“Talking peace is a good chance, for the people to unite to create a genuine peace, one that is based on justice and freedom from oppression. It is our wish that whatever agreement both would come to would touch the dreams and aspirations of our people,” Villasanta said.

The Sowing the Seeds of Peace has launched various activities parallel to the weeklong peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway. It spearheaded succeeding gatherings to rally support behind the talks believing that the people stand to benefit most from a successful peace negotiation.

Bishop Modesto Villasanta, UCCP


Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte delivers her welcome remarks
 UCCP Bishop Constante Claro presents the Mindanao Peoples' Peace Agenda


North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza says the problem in her province has been land disputes from land owners that result to human rights violations; she calls on LGUs to be accountable to protecting human rights

Lumad leader Diolito Diarog asks GPH to stop the AFP's harassment and forced recruitment of lumads into paramilitary groups in his area in Kahusayan, Calinan.



Wage revolutionary struggle to put an end to the spiral of terrorist violence
Tuesday, 03 May 2011
Communist Party of the Philippines

Beating his chest, US imperialist chieftain Barack Obama declared, "Justice has been done", as he announced the killing last Sunday of Osama bin Laden carried out by his interventionist troops in Pakistan. The coalition of imperialist countries and their puppets dutifully hailed and rejoiced over the killing of bin Laden whom they have tagged as responsible for the "9/11" attacks in New York as well as numerous other terror attacks against US imperialist targets.
Seeking to rally the American people, Obama drummed up the killing of bin Laden as a "testament to the greatness" of the US. In the vain hope of standing on the moral highground, he has gone all the way in deceiving the American people and the international community by claiming that the US "did not choose this fight."

He chose to ignore the long history of US wars of aggression and crimes against humanity in the past century which imposed American hegemony on other sovereign nations. These were carried out by the US with the aim of controlling oil resources, fields of investment and markets and extending its political and military power.

Just like his predecessors, Obama conveniently omits the brutality and violence perpetrated by the US in its history of colonization and neocolonization: the killing of close to 500,000 Filipinos in the course of its occupation and subsequent half a century colonization of the Philippines; its mass killing of close to 150,000 Japanese people by the unnecessary dropping of atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima towards the end of the Second World War in 1946; its war of intervention in Korea in the 1950s; its imposition of economic sanctions against Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Libya causing great hardships on entire populations; its war against the Vietnamese people and the use of biological and incendiary weapons; its intervention in the Balkans; its invasion of Kuwait and Iraq; its support of the Zionist war against the Palestinian people; its war of intervention against Afghanistan; its current war of aggression against Libya; and so on.

Amid worsening economic depression, US imperialism is bound to engage further in more hegemonic wars. Not only do wars provide vast profit-making opportunities for the US military-industrial complex, they also draw the American people's attention away from the grave domestic economic crisis and rally them under the banner of US ultra-nationalism.

As the US intensifies its wars of aggression, it is also bound to commit greater acts of brutality against peoples around the world. Even now, the bombs dropped from its predator drones and the indiscriminate firing by trigger-happy and paranoid American soldiers continue to cause mass casualties among the people of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere. American soldiers in foreign bases and military facilities such as those in the Philippines are let off the hook when they rape women and trample on local laws. They carry out one clandestine military operation after another in complete disregard of the laws and freedom of these sovereign states.

By continuing to carry out its hegemonic wars, the US continues to provoke both retaliation by small terror circles and revolutionary mass resistance.

Retaliation through acts of terror is the basest reaction. Acts of reprisal are being carried out by individuals and groups whose thirst for justice can only be satisfied by harming the American people in the same way that the US imperialists harmed their people. Repaying one act of terror with another is reactionary and antipeople. It does not hurt the giant imperialist ogre but only gives it justification to become even more violent. It can only result in a rising spiral of violence aimed at civilians. In the past decade, the US has carried out countless acts of terror in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere by invoking the 9/11 attack. This has only engendered the formation of countless groups that are guided by the narrow-minded objectives of revenge.

The killing of Osama bin Laden will not put an end to this war between the small terrorist groups and the US, the world's No. 1 terrorist. It will only bring it to a new and higher level.

Only by waging revolutionary anti-imperialist resistance can the peoples of the world put an end to the US reign of terror. In contrast to the acts of terror of small groups, revolutionary resistance is a mass undertaking of freedom-loving peoples who aspire to shatter the imperialist shackles that have kept them exploited and oppressed.

Revolutionary resistance entails raising the historic and social consciousness of the people, building their organized political and military power, adapting revolutionary strategy and tactics to the particularity of their countries, waging mass struggles, building international solidarity and carrying out revolutionary armed struggles. All these are aimed at weakening and overthrowing the imperialist powers and their puppet reactionary states that thrive on and perpetuate the oppressive and exploitative system.
In the face of the intensification of the international capitalist crisis, mass struggles are being mounted around the world. Enormous mass demonstrations are being carried out against unemployment, cuts in social spending, rising prices of oil and other commodities, poverty, hunger and the incompetence and failure of ruling governments to provide palpable solutions to the people's problems.

The oppressed peoples of the world are becoming increasingly aware that only by waging mass struggles can they effectively oppose US imperialism and put an end to its acts of terror.


Christian and Moro leaders sign the Manifesto of Peace
NDFP's Fidel Agcaoili signing the Manifesto of Peace
  Ret. Gen. and current Hagonoy Mayor Franco Calida
  Sowing the Seeds Convenor Vice Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri  
  Sowing Convenor Bishop Felix Calang, IFI presents the Mindanao Peoples' Peace Agenda  


Governor Marañon cannot solve the problems of poverty, hunger and injustice in Negros
Monday, 02 May 2011
Governor Marañon is part of the social problems suffered by the people of Negros

Spokesperson, NDFP-Negros
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The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) - Negros consider Gov. Alfredo Marañon as the local chief representative responsible in maintaining and defending the existing semi-feudal and feudal exploitation and oppression of the people in Negros. As a comprador-landlord, bureaucrat capitalist official and fascist warlord, it's impossible for him to solve the problem of hunger, and injustice thru his active role in the counter-revolutionary and anti-people military campaign called "Oplan Bayanihan" of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and his "Negros First Development Agenda."

The governor is part of the social problem being suffered by the people.

The governor shows that he is one of the rabid fascist architect to implement a brutal and bloody "Oplan Bayanihan" under the Aquino regime, that is an extension of the "Oplan Bantay Laya", aimed to crush the armed revolutionary movement of the people. He uses the governor's office in mobilizing the agencies of government, city and town government units, government funds and resources, and the non-government organizations (NGOs) for direct and active participation on TRIAD operations of the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) namely combat operations, psy-war and civilian-military operations, and intelligence operations against the revolutionary movement and the legal democratic movement of the people.

The governor is in the lead of the formation of the "Negros Island Peace and Order Council" (NIPOC) as an island-wide fascist center of civilian-military cooperation and coordination for their counter revolutionary war. Under the joint leadership with Gov. Roel Degamo of Negros Oriental as co-chair of NIPOC, with members including Col. Jonas Sumagaysay of the 303rd Infantry Brigade and Col Manuel Ochotorena of the 302nd Brigade of the Philippine Army, Senior Supt Allan Guisihan of Negros Occ PNP and Senior Supt Rey Lyndon Lawas of Negros Oriental, and other high ranking officials of government -- this will definitely result to big changes in priorities of the reactionary government as an institution that will serve in the delivery of wars and deaths and not on the delivery of social services and peace for the people.

Instead of using government funds to alleviate the hunger of landless peasants, workers without jobs, semi-workers in the cities who lost their homes, Marañon wasted the spending of public funds for the unjust and non-productive counter revolutionary war of "Oplan Bayanihan." Besides his generous funding for the military operations of the AFP, it's also easy for him to release funds for the PNP to strengthen the police role in the counter revolutionary war including the controversial P10-15 million subsidy solicited by Senior Supt Guisihan for intelligence operations.

Governor Marañon is also a supporter of the RPA armed goons used by the AFP as an instrument in their counter revolutionary campaign against the revolutionary forces and also being hired by the warlords and reactionary politicians in North Negros against the peasants who are launching legitimate struggles for land reform, just wages, against land grabbing and other democratic demands.

The continuous calls and insults of the fascist Governor Marañon against the New People's Army (NPA) to "come down", join the localized "peace talks" and surrender, in order to taste delicious food, makes him a cheap specialist of psywar operations of "Oplan Bayanihan". His skills are above par compared to the regular psywar agents like Lt. Col. Isabelo delos Reyes, SSgt Batoy Imbang and others from the 303rd Infantry Brigade PA in deodorizing the slogans of lies and the bad image of the AFP as bogus instrument of "peace and development and protector of human rights" and hide the fascist and anti-people nature of "OPlan Bayanihan" of the Aquino regime.

Part of the grandiose psywar operations is his "Negros First Development Agenda" that he boasts will deliver progress in Negros. But the truth is, it's nothing more than a local version of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and other subsidy-related programs of the Aquino regime in order to fool and divide the people on the real roots of the social problems of landlessness, absence of nationalist industrialization and the use of bureaucrat officials of their positions in government as if it is their private company to amass big profits form legal and illegal transactions and corruptions.

Marañon cannot wash his hands in his direct and indirect responsibilities in the sufferings of the people and the crimes committed by the AFP, like extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances, tortures and other human rights violations. The governor has also to answer to revolutionary justice for his wrongdoings against the people for land grabbing peasant lots that victimized 111 families in Sta Cruz Murcia to be used as grazing lands for his imported cows.

He has shown his selfish interests to earn kickbacks in his approval for destructive large scale mining operations of foreign mining firms in the mountains of southern and central Negros covering thousands of hectares despite the protest of the people and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. There is also the plan of Marañon in cahoots with the despotic warlords Mayor Bebot Mirasol and Vice Mayor Aranda in the construction of a tourist resort in the springs of Bia-o, Binalbagan that worries the peasants who will surely lost their lands and the activities of a 60-member armed groups securing the project, threatening and spreading terror among the residents in the area.

We are reminding Gov Joseph Marañon Jr that he is only pouring gasoline and intensifying the anger of the masses of the working people in hastening the eruption of the social volcano of the armed revolution. Marañon is also wrong when he insults the food eaten by the NPA like cassava (balinghoy), bisol, camote, and corn that are part of the warm support of the masses that give sustenance to the revolutionary army to launch guerrilla warfare onward to strategic stalemate in five years.


 Randall Echanis, member NDF panel SER-RWC
Jurgette Honculada, GPH Peace Panel member