THE IMPASSE ON THE NDFP-GPH TALKS
May 27, 2015
THE IMPASSE ON THE NDFP-GPH TALKS
by Arturo P. Garcia
Where does the road to peace in the Philippines lies?
A lot of people are wondering why while the Philippine Government is inching towards the passage of the Basic Bangsa Moro Law (BBL) in the Congress as the culmination of the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement signed in 2012, the GPH is not moving anywhere in its negotiation with the National Democratic Front (NDF).
While many of the political analyst understand that the Moro Problem in Mindanao is a regional problem, still it is a complex problem, many were surprised with the audacity that the Aquino III Administration was able to find a solution towards peace with the MILF in Mindanao.
And that is acceding to the demand of the MILF for regional autonomy under the GPH process and for the MILF who toned down its demand for secession or independence to regional autonomy, a big retrograde step towards peace.
But the road towards genuine, just and lasting peace in Mindanao and the whole Philippines is still long and torturous. This will the MILF find out as it embark on a social engineering experiment on “regional autonomy” with the passage of the BBL and the so-called “Bangsa Moro Autonomous Region” in 2016.
That is why despite the so-many prior agreements with the NDF, the GPH has chosen to go slow on the peace process with the it’s foremost social problem and according to the AFP,”The biggest threat to national security.”–the peace talks with the” communist CPP/NPA/NDF” as the government wanted to call them.
On the part of the NDFP Political Consultant, Prof. Jose Ma. Sison questioned President Benigno Aquino III’s sincerity in pursuing peace talks with communist insurgents after Aquino claimed that the rebels backed off special negotiations aimed at an indefinite ceasefire.
“He is out of his mind if he thinks that he can get an agreement on indefinite ceasefire without complying with the existing agreements and without a Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms at the same time,” Sison said in a statement.
He said the government has violated all the agreement it has signed with the NDF since the 1980’s “. Claiming that ” It is Aquino who lacks sincerity in peace negotiations between the [government of the Philippines] and NDFP,”Sion put the blame squarely on Noynoy Aquino.
Sison said. “He shows his bad faith, selfishness and incorrigible penchant for cruelty by putting in advance of formal talks his precondition that he will continue to violate JASIG and CAHRIHL.”
Sison issued the statement after Aquino claimed in a radio interview that Sison had proposed a “special track” aimed at an indefinite ceasefire, but the communist leader supposedly “took it back.”
For Sison.it was Aquino who was being insincere because of the government’s pursuit of NDF consultants in connection with “the baseless and false” Hilongos (Leyte) charge involving mass executions of communist rebels in the 1980s.
“He seems to be obsessed with going down in history with a legacy of cruelty comparable to that of Marcos and Arroyo in collecting political prisoners and allowing the military, police and paramilitary in perpetrating forced disappearances, torture, mass dislocation, demolition of homes and landgrabbing under Oplan Bayanihan,” Sison said.
Last month, former priest and a landlord scion from Negros, Luis Jalandoni told the media in a press briefing somewhere in Quezon City the intention of the CPP-NPA-NDF to resume peace talks with the government.
Even Armed Forces chief of staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. welcomed Jalandoni’s challenge to resume the peace talks.
Jalandoni said their willingness to resume talks was in response to calls of peasants and workers to work for genuine land reform and national industrialization.
“The NDFP was also responding to the efforts of peace advocates and the Royal Norwegian Government striving for serious peace negotiations between the Aquino administration and the NDFP,” he said.
More than 300,000 Filipinos have died during the 45 years of undeclared civil war in the Philippines.
It seems the road to peace in the Philippines is so thorny that we cannot find the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.