Saturday, October 22, 2016

MNLF: Roadmap to MNLF-Duterte Government Peace Talks (Part 1) - Betrayal of Mindanao Peace by Manila Government

Posted to the Moro National Liberation Front Website (Oct 19): Roadmap to MNLF-Duterte Government Peace Talks (Part 1)

Betrayal of Mindanao Peace by Manila Government

Through American and Filipino conspiracy after the arbitrary colonization of the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) in 1946 that led to the establishment of the so-called ‘Philippine Republic,’ the historical injustice triggered the devastating Filipino-Moro in Mindanao in contemporary period. The bloody war has to date resulted in the killing of more than 200,000 precious lives. The mortality rate is still mounting.

Simply viewed by MNLF Peace Panel Spokesman Reverend Absalom Cerveza, ”the U.S. government erroneously blundered in creating the oppressive Philippine colonialism on the basis of colossal injustice.”        

Indeed, the nagging Mindanao war today has only condemned both the Filipino colonialist land-grabbers and the Tri-People (Muslim, Lumad and Christian) of Mindanao into a “war of genocide and extermination”.


REVEREND ABSALOM CERVEZA: MNLF Peace Panel Spokesman said that "the United States government erroneously blundered in creating the oppressive Philippine colonialism on the basis of colossal injustice." He also stressed that the American blunder has led to the mass killing of Mindanao natives today.

Apparently, the American land-grabbers have expressed no remorseful attitude in committing this heinous crime against humanity. Instead they only justify the criminal act land-grabbing as “pacification campaign” against “savage natives” that need to know the art of “democracy,” “freedom” and other deceptive catch-phrase hyperbole. To date, America has not admitted the human rights abuses committed against the oppressed Bangsamoro people. But the U.S. government has the temerity to admonish other nations for the repressive crime it enforced on the indigenous peoples.

Post illegal annexation of MINSUPALA by Manila government, the Filipino-Moro conflict flared up when Datu Abdulmajid Panoniongan and Datu Tawantawan supported by courageous Maranaw fighters openly battled the Filipino military colonialist occupation forces in Lanao. In Sulu, Maas Kamlon and a big number of Tausug warriors staged an armed uprising which lasted for several years in the 1950s. The Kamlon-led Tausug revolutionaries wiped out the Philippine military Korea war veteran ‘Nenita unit’ to the last man standing.
The Filipino-Moro war continued with the full scale launching of the freedom struggle by the Moro National Liberation (MNLF) under Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari in the 1960s. It has continued up to date for almost 50 years.
In suppressing the sentiments for complete liberation from Philippine colonialism of the colonized victims in early 1950s, the Philippine Quirino government treacherously engaged the Kamlon revolutionaries in peaceful negotiations in capturing and imprisoning the legendary Tausug freedom fighter. The treacherous incarceration of the Bangsamoro leader and the death of the Maranaw revolutionary leaders temporarily halted the armed struggle. But Philippine colonial duplicity and state terrorism did not bury the armed Bangsamoro freedom struggle.
True to form and substance projected by America-oriented colonial land-grabbing policy, the Quirino regime painted the Moro freedom fighters as “outlaws” in challenging the ‘Philippine Constitution’ or the ‘law of the land’ that only bespeaks of the “law of the jungle” carried out only by terroristic military might. Filipino colonialist occupation soldiers only imposed oppressive colonial rule by terrorizing the Muslim natives of Mindanao. But the colonized victims stood their ground challenging the cruelty and wickedness of the Filipino colonizers during and beyond the Qurino regime.

Consequently, Philippine colonialism under the Marcos regime sparked the floodgates of far advanced Bangsamoro people’s revolution that was valiantly waged by the Nur Misuari-led MNLF freedom fighters after the grotesque Jabidah massacre of March 18, 1968. The freedom struggle progressed throughout the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan.

Unable to quell the MNLF-launched Bangsamoro people’s liberation struggle against the Manila government, the Marcos dictatorship sought the diplomatic intervention of then Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to help solve the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao in early 1970s. This led to the Philippine government-MNLF peace talks and forging of the Tripoli Peace Agreement in 1976.           

Thus, using the same colonial strategy from 1976 up to 2016, Philippine colonialism under President/Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, Presidents Corazon C. Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno S. Aquino III engaged the MNLF and break-away group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in peace talks. The peace parley led to the forging of respective peace agreements. But it was clearly observed that the political end game was only to betray Mindanao peace by using ‘peace process’ the convenient instrument. The Office of Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) deceptively executed the demolition task in modern period.

MANILA-BASED FILIPINO COLONIALIST LAND-GRABBERS: Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon boldly presided the actual land-grabbing of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA). President Ferdinand E. Marcos heightened the Filipino-Moro conflict by conducting a genocide war against the colonized Bangsamoro people. Presidents Corazon C. Aquino, Joseph E. Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno S. Aquino III pursued the war of genocide and extermination in order to perpetuate the land-grabbing of the Bangsamoro ancestral homeland of the Muslim and Lumad natives. The Luzon-based Filipino colonialist presidents, like Quezon, Quirino, Marcos, Aquino, Estrada, Arroyo, Aquino III, and others, have only displayed deceptive political will in depriving the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao of their freedom, independence and national self-determination.

How and why? Manila-based Filipino colonialist land-grabbers, like Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon, President Elpidio Qurino, Dictator-President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Presidents Corazon Aquino, Joseph E. Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno S. Aquino III, used simply the so-called Philippine Constitution’ in justifying the occupation and continued land-grabbing of the ancestral homeland of the Muslim and Lumad natives of MINSUPALA.

PRESIDENT ELPIDIO QUIRINO: Philippine President Elpidio Quirino tricked the Moro revolutionary leader Maas Kamlon into a peace dialogue by utilizing a local Tausug leader. The Quirino regime instead treacherously arrested Maas Kamlon and jailed him for several years until pardoned by the Marcos government out of old age.


The Filipino colonizers conveniently used the majesty of ‘Philippine Constitution’ and “rule of law” in camouflaging the “rule of the jungle.” That is “might is right.” The all-Christian Commonwealth National Assembly members, majority Christian lawmakers in both Houses of Philippine Congress today and all-Christian chief justices and associate justices in Philippine Supreme Court have only become proud patronizing and mouthing “constitutional” the gruesome injustice committed against the Muslim and Lumad natives of Mindanao.
Obsessed of political and economic gluttony learned from the American land-grabbers, the unscrupulous commonwealth period Christian Filipino politicians enacted the ‘Quirino-Recto Colonization Act’ in justifying the broad-daylight robbery of the ancestral Bangsamoro homeland.
“Constitutional” and “sovereignty” have been flagrantly used by the Filipino colonialist leaders, disguised lawmakers, treaty brokers (or peace panelists), academicians and media opinion makers as a doublespeak in confusing and dishing out disinformation related to the land-grabbing of the Bangsamoro ancestral homeland by America-fabricated Philippine Republic.
Consciously or unconsciously, using “tyranny of numbers” and distorted justice, both the Filipino political leaders and lawmakers have used the “law of the jungle” that “might is right” in the form of brutish military campaigns in prolonging Philippine colonialism and state terrorism in Mindanao. And such monumental injustice has contributed to continue the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao until today.

Philippine colonialism under any Manila-based political rulers has only ignored and shelved to the dustbin of history the crime against humanity committed by the Spanish, American, Japanese and Filipino colonizers against the Muslim and Lumad natives as well as conscious Christians of Mindanao.
Thus, it is only but providential that two prominent conscious Mindanao-based Christian leaders emerged to tell the truth about the gross injustice done by American imperialism and Philippine colonialism to the oppressed colonized victims in Filipino-occupied Mindanao.
According to Mindanao Cardinal Orlando Quevedo and President Rodrigo R. Duterte, “injustice” is no less than the root cause of the Mindanao conflict.    
It is quite sad that the Manila-based Filipino and once Spanish, American and Japanese colonialist land-grabbers have not admitted and recognized the naked injustice perpetrated against the colonized victims. But they have only remained deaf, blind and proud of patronizing and encouraging the heinous crime against the oppressed humanity.
Similar to the colonial destructive strategy of the U.S. government to extinct the historical identity and sovereignty of the aboriginal American ‘Indian Nations’, Philippine colonialism utilized the same inhumane stratagem. The Filipino colonizers also designed in erasing the national Bangsamoro identity and sovereignty of the colonized victims of Mindanao. The simple strategy is just to perpetuate the evil that is Philippine colonialism in Mindanao, including the integration of the Bangsamoro people into its rotten body politic. Alas, to be identified ridiculously as a “Filipino.”
Blindly patronizing the Filipino psyche, “look Asian, think Spanish and act American,”  the ‘Filipinos’ (originally the children of Spanish soldiers and friars) and the Christianized ‘Indios’ of Luzon have not graduated from being subjects of the immoral Spanish King Philip II or simply colonial slaves of Spain. They too have passionately embraced the double talk policy of brutish America.
Thus, it is quite strange why Filipino colonialist leaders demand the Muslim and Lumad natives of Mindanao to embrace and adopt the slavish Filipino identity. Filipino historians and academicians cannot just accept the historical reality that the unconquered Bangsamoro people fought the Spanish conquistadores for more than 300 years, the American invaders for more than 40 years and the Japanese imperialists for almost 5 years in defense of their freedom and ancestral homeland. Never the Filipinos! And this included the Christianized Indios-transformed-Filipinos, who were only used by the Catholic Hispanic marauders as “mercenaries and spies” in the Spanish-Moro war, according to the known Asian Muslim historian Dr. Cesar Adib Majul.
Truth to tell, the centerpiece of the Bangsamoro liberation struggle today is against Filipino colonialism and state terrorism that have only brought misery, suffering and agony to the colonized victims quite similarly with the Spanish, American and Japanese land-grabbing campaigns in the past.     
Today, the Manila-based Filipino colonialist rulers have only resulted to engaging the Bangsamoro people in peace talks and forging peace agreement. But they have never sincerely considered the total and correct implementation of the peace agreements.
In 1976, the Tripoli Peace Agreement was forged under the Marcos government. But the Marcos regime never considered implementing the Tripoli agreement. It merely decided to deceive the MNLF by dividing its rank and file that led to the killing of Sulu-based Tabak Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Teodolfo Bautista and a big number of AFP officers and soldiers in their treacherous military operation in fragmentalizing the MNLF leadership and grass root members in 1977.
In 1986, Philippine colonialism under President Corazon C. Aquino lured the MNLF to talk peace that forged the 1987 Jeddah Peace Accord based on the implementation of the 13-province and 8-city Tripoli agreement. But this was never fully implemented by the Aquino regime. It opted instead to solve the Mindanao war with a “ten plus three” political formula that the MNLF leadership rejected as contrary to the letter and spirit of the Tripoli agreement.
The Aquino government instead proceeded in creating the farcical 4-province Autonomous Region in Mindanao (ARMM) using the constitutional “law of the jungle” based on “tyranny of numbers” in Philippine Congress.  But the ARMM never did succeed to end the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao. It was in later years declared a “failed experiment” by the BS Aquino III government.
In 1992, the Philippine Ramos government revived the peace talks with the MNLF in forging the September 2, 1996 MNLF-OIC-GRP Jakarta Peace Agreements, including the implementation of the Tripoli agreement.
The Ramos administration decreed the creation of the 13-province and 9-city Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD). But SPCPD was without budgetary and political empowerment. It served only a sort of monitoring body to supervise the so-called “zone of peace and development” (ZOPAD) in Mindanao. It could have ended the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao if the succeeding Manila government rulers developed the political will to empower the SPCPD to become an effective and genuine Bangsamoro Autonomous Government (BAG) as contemplated by the MNLF.
However, from 1998 to 2001, Philippine colonialism under President Joseph E. Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo totally ignored the implementation of the 1996 Peace agreement.
The Estrada regime declared an “all-out war” against Ustaj Salamat Hashim-led MILF, succeeding to capture the main military camp Abubakar as-Siddique. The Estrada watch though was only short-lived because it was toppled by Vice-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who succeeded in serving president for more than eight years.       
In the year 2000, the Arroyo dispensation conspired with Malaysia’s Mahathir regime in creating the so-called 15-Executive Council (EC) MNLF in discrediting MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari and dividing the Bangsamoro people and freedom fighters. The Arroyo-Mahathir conspiracy replaced the MNLF chairman as SPCPD chair by Malacanang’s puppet Mayor Muslimen Sema and anointed Dr. Parouk Hussin as replacement of Chairman Misuari as ARMM governor. The political Arroyo-Mahathir conspiracy also targeted the shelving of the Sulu Sultanate-authorized Philippine Sabah claim, earning huge monetary consideration for both political conspirators.
The Arroyo government proceeded in establishing the 5-province ARMM with the help of the rubber-stamp Philippine Congress that prompted the MNLF chairman in abandoning totally the ARMM governorship. The MNLF conducted a Bangsamoro people’s general assembly in Cabatangan Complex in Zamboanga City in reviving the establishment of the Bangsamoro Republik as a separate nation-state to be recognized by the United Nations (UN). The formal petition was submitted to the UN Decolonization Committee in New York on December 10, 2000.
The Arroyo-Mahathir conspiracy to neutralize and sideline MNLF Chairman Misuari in any peace talks leading to Mindanao peace also included the controversial arrest of the MNLF chairman in Sabah. The Mahathir regime surrendered him to the Arroyo government to be charged for rebellion and was incarcerated for almost five years until the OIC demanded for his release.
Nonetheless, similar to the Aquino version 4-province ARMM, the 5-province ARMM created by the Arroyo regime never did succeed to end the bloody Mindanao war. The Arroyo government only transformed the new ARMM into the scandalous “cheating capital of Philippine elections” that was used to steal the presidency from the popular would-be President Fernando Poe, Jr.  
It was clearly noted that the Marcos government in 1976 and the Aquino administration in 1987 only betrayed the trust of the MNLF and Bangsamoro people by not implementing the Tripoli Peace Agreement and the Jeddah Peace Accord. This was despite the signing of peace agreements in Tripoli and Jeddah witnessed by the powerful Organization of Islamic Conference and later Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
In similar vein, the Estrada, Arroyo and Aquino III government totally ignored the correct and complete implementation of the September 2, 1996 MNLF-OIC-GRP Jakarta Peace Agreements. Yet, the Philippine Ramos government had already paved the way for the correct implementation of the peace agreement with the establishment of the 13-province and 9-city Southern Philippine Council for Peace and Development that needed only political and budgetary empowerment.
Thus, with the continued betrayal of Mindanao peace by the Manila government, the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao is still raging today with catastrophic consequences. Worst, the continuation of the Mindanao war is today highlighted by the introduction of “global scale terrorism” to justify the coming and presence of the U.S. soldiers in Mindanao. This was compounded by America’s introduction of ‘drone war’ to further terrorize the colonized victims.
It is observed that the western powers today are bent to discredit Islam and destroy Muslim image worldwide. By using the captive global media, the foreign powers have associated the oppressed Islamic humanity to mass terroristic activities that became once the trademark of the Roman, Persian, German, Soviet, British and American terrorists in waging land-grabbing bloody wars against native inhabitants in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. The captive global media has highlighted terrorism with “Jihadism”, “Islamic jihadist” and ISIS depredations to misinform humanity.
Could this be part of the strategy of Zionist captive western powers to forestall the Islamization of the whole humanity that is gradually happening today?
The Aquino government in 2013 misread the capability of the MNLF to continue the freedom struggle of the Bangsamoro people. It only engaged in deception utilizing Deles-led OPAPP. It attempted in deceiving the OIC, MNLF, Chairman Murad Ebrahim-led MILF and Prime Minister Najib Razak-led Malaysian government to cash-in on the possibility of the Kuala Lumpur-negotiated Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) political settlement to achieve “just and lasting peace” in war-torn Mindanao.
Per OIC exclusive report, the Aquino regime maneuvered to phase-out the task of the MNLF-OIC-GRP Tri-Partite Committee to reconcile salient disagreements related to the 1996 peace agreement. The MNLF viewed the mischievous aborted move in order to discontinue the correct implementation of the 1996 peace agreement. The Deles-led OPAPP denied though the duplicity when the whole plan backfired. It instead concentrated to seemingly realize the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in consonant with the wish of the MILF and federal Malaysia government. But, at the end of the day, the Aquino regime mysteriously sanctioned the Mamapasano invasion with the pretext of hunting down one “Malaysian terrorist” (Marwan) to kill finally the BBL in Philippine Congress.
Thus, it was noted that the hidden motive of the Aquino regime was only to buy time in executing a diabolical plan to hoodwink federal Malaysia government and the MILF “hopefuls”. At the exact time of its lame-duck period, the Aquino regime conspired with American intelligence group in stage-managing the Mamapasano invasion that only ended in fiasco for the Philippine National Police (PNP) and BBL.  
It is now recalled that the prelude events to the 2016 “killing” of BBL could be related to the March 2013 Sabah war between the federal Malaysian soldiers and royal forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo (SSNB). Clearly now, it would also explain the 2015 official visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III to Kuala Lumpur.
Could the related past events gain personal political goodwill and huge monetary considerations for the Filipino president at the expense of Sulu Sultanate-owned North Borneo that the BBL concept envisaged to erase totally? 
On this turn of event, the MNLF developed no option but to revert back to its original objective on waging a militant struggle to regain complete freedom and national self-determination for the Bangsamoro people under Philippine colonialism. The MNLF leadership called for peaceful public demonstration and rally to support the declaration of independence of the United Federated States of Bangsamoro Republik (UFSBR).
Street peaceful assembly of MNLF members and mass supporters were held in Jolo, Basilan and Davao City causing no untoward repercussion relating to the public and loud proclamation of Bangsamoro independence. But the scheduled September 2013 peace rally in Zamboanga City was banned by the local government under Mayor Maria Isabel Climaco. Worst, some MNLF members were harassed, jailed and tortured that forced the active MNLF members to arm themselves and called for reinforcement from Basilan and Sulu MNLF forces.
Once Sulu-based MNLF forces under Ustaj Khaber Malik arrived in the city, the September AFP-MNLF blood-letting occurred for almost 20 days. The bloody AFP-MNLF war could have ended after five days, but then President Benigno S. Aquino III and DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas II rejected the ceasefire talks between Vice-President Jenjomar Binay and Defense Secretary Voltaire Garcia with MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari.
Clearly, it was observed that the Aquino regime only used ‘peace process’ as a two-blooded weapon in deceiving the Bangsamoeo people and the whole of humanity. The AFP-MNLF war in Zamboanga City and the BBL fiasco only discredited the BSAquino III administration similar to the Marcos, Aquino and Arroyo government. It only came to pass that its political existence was again to betray Mindanao peace to entrench Philippine colonialism in Mindanao.
On this note, the AFP-MNLF Zamboanga urban war that was only a repeat of the equally bloody 1974 Jolo town AFP-MNLF war was used by the Aquino III regime in covering up its mediocrity and awkwardness. It proudly charged Chairman Nur Misuari and some MNLF freedom fighters with rebellion as though this would easily halt the Bangsamoro people’s liberation struggle against Philippine colonialism. 
The MNLF leadership perceived the downfall of the discredited Aquino III government prior and during the May 2016 national election. The Aquino administration had lost touch with reality and banked on its highly-hyped propaganda of establishing daang matuwid (straight path) program. Yet, it operated on the immoral basis of pork barrel system that affected all branches of government –executive, legislative, judiciary and military.
The controversial impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona of the Philippine Supreme Court and the Janet Lim-Napoles senate hearing and court trial under the Aquino regime revealed the extensive massive corruption of Filipino lawmakers, including the different national department officialdom. The daang matuwid theme became overnight daang sarado, according to Philippine media. But President BS Aquino III ignored the people’s wrath and anger calling for his resignation. He further schemed in continuing his misguided political will to survive the daang matuwid creed even after his corrupt-prone 6-year political reign.
The Aquino regime maneuvered to put in place its “political clone” Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II, president of the Liberal Party (LP) and once Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication as well as Department of Interior and Local Government, as standard bearer of LP/daang matuwid for the 2016 electoral process.
On this political development, the domestic and overseas Filipino workers strongly clamored for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo D. Duterte to run for the presidency. Together with the overwhelming mass supporters, professionals, women and youth sectors inside the islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, they voluntarily contributed their share to convince him to join the presidential race.
The day when Mayor Duterte categorically decided to run under the political party Laban Demokratiko Pilipino (LDP), there was worldwide joyous celebration by OFWs. From overseas, the workers shared their overwhelming support with their family members inside the Philippines by appealing to their loved ones to vigorously campaign for 2016 President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. They voluntarily contributed propaganda materials and monetary assistance in proving their trust and confidence on the Mindanao-based iconic political leader whose political rallying credo from the beginning is genuine reformative change.
Indeed, the relentless war on massive corruption in government and illegal drug/shabu trade and criminality in every street corner became his campaign rallying point throughout the Philippine archipelago. 
Concerned Overseas Filipino Workers even personally wrote letters to MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari to warn the Filipino and Bangsamoro communities that the Aquino III government was bent to conduct mass cheating during the May 9, 2016 national election. Strangely, it was pointed out that the COMELEC-contracted Smartmatic machines were programmed only to read sample ballots bearing LP/daan matuwid and nothing else. Indeed, it was quite strange why the political organization tag ‘Liberal Party (LP)’ was not directly used similar to other participatory political parties in the national election.
The MNLF leadership took the painful task in warning both the Filipino and Muslim/Lumad electorate of this electoral deceit. The MNLF chairman also weighed in on the international media the wisdom of electing president the Davao City mayor, who became openly vocal to point out the injustice committed by the Manila government on the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao.
In all his campaign sorties, the first ever Mindanao-based presidential candidate always pledged to achieve peace and justice that Imperial Manila rulers repeatedly betrayed in the past. And too elsewhere in the whole Philippines by ending the AFP-NDF/NPA war for the peace and prosperity of the nation.
On the 2016 electoral process and aftermath, the rest is history.
The 100 days of the Duterte government capsulized the relentless war against the eradication of illegal drug trade and endemic massive corruption in all branches of government.
Indeed, majority of the masses felt the positive drastic change in their daily lives, including walking safe and sound in street corners and transacting official matters in government offices. The Duterte government has transformed Malacanang (president’s official residence) into “people’s palace” in serving notice that the people’s voice and welfare is of paramount importance.
The Duterte government also prioritized the institution of peace, public order and security by immediately opening peace talks with the National Democrtaic Front (NDF) revolutionaries and the Bangsamoro freedom fighters. The peace negotiations in Norway between the government and NDF peace panelists have so far produced positive result that could end achieving peace for both the Filipino combatants.
On the prospect of the MNLF-Duterte government actual peace talks, President Rodrigo Duterte and MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari have still to meet personally for the substantial phase of the meaningful peace process. But the MNLF-Duterte government relationship has established positive measures in laying out the ground for any formal peace talks. Both the Mindanao-based Filipino leader and Bangsamoro chieftain have together coordinated in saving the lives of foreign kidnap victims by the Abu Sayyaf group.
CHAIRMAN NUR MISUARI AND PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. DUTERTE: Both Mindanao-based Filipino President Rodrigo R. Duterte and MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari have established a cordial working relationship to finally achieve just and lasting Mindanao peace for the Tri-People (Lumad, Muslim and Christian) of Mindanao. The crucial face-to-face meeting and peace dialogue of the two Mindanao leaders is now eagerly awaited by all peace stakeholders.
In September, 2016, President Duterte personally sought the help of Chairman Misuari related to the safe release of Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and the three Indonesian kidnap victims Lorens Koten, Teo Doros Kofong and Emmanuel Arakian. The Norwegian was abducted in Davao on September 2015 along with a Filipina girlfriend and two Canadians, John Ridsdell and Robert Hall, who were beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf group for not coming up with the demand kidnap ransom money.     
MNLF DAVAO CITY CHAIRMAN ABDULAZIZ OLAMIT: Chairman Abdulaziz Olamit of the MNLF Davao City Revolutionary Committee cum Acting Vice-Chairman of the MNLF Central Committee has pointed out that the Manila-based political leaders have repeatedly betrayed Mindanao peace. He has stressed the fact that peace talks have been conducted in forging international peace agreements, but the peace treaties have not been completely implemented except only the implementation of artificial Philippine version autonomy.

The MNLF chairman had to mobilize thousand-strong Bangsamoro Armed Forces (BAF) fighters to pursue and pressure the mobile Abu Sayyaf group to release the kidnap for ransom victims from captivity. Similar MNLF military operation was also conducted earlier against the Abu Sayyaf abductors that led to the safe release of nine Indonesian kidnap victims when the Indonesian government asked the help of the MNLF chairman.
In Mindanao, the threat of kidnapping activities by the Abu Sayyaf group was never given adequate solution by the preceding Manila-based political leaders except only through frequent aborted dismal military operations coupled with bombastic press releases.
Today, it is remotely possible that the Duterte government with the help of the MNLF freedom fighters could formulate remedial measures to institute Mindanao peace to end kidnapping activities in Mindanao minus the interference of outside foreign colonizers.
Thus, on the political course of action taken by the Duterte government to chart an independent foreign policy and not to rely on American imperialism, the MNLF leadership has favorably viewed this cornerstone a positive sign for achieving Mindanao peace.
Indeed, enough is enough for the “global terrorism scare” strangely projected by American policy to justify only the presence of U.S. military war-mongers in war-torn Mindanao!

On this note, the Mindanao-based Filipino leader and the Bangsamoro leader have really to meet and talk in order to decide on the final course of action towards achieving total Mindanao peace.
Hence, it is on this positive end, according to MNLF Davao City Chairman and concurrently Acting Vice-Chairman of the MNLF Central Committee, Abdulaziz Olamit, that “the MNLF-Duterte government peace talks is eagerly anticipated and expected by all peace stakeholders.”
He has also emphasized that the forthcoming personal meeting in Davao City or elsewhere in Mindanao of the two leaders shall jump start the peaceful journey of the Filipino president and MNLF chairman to achieve just, meaningful and durable Mindanao peace that the past Manila-based political leaders repeatedly betrayed in the past. –osm/          
(To be continued)
Roadmap to MNLF-Duterte Government Peace Talks (Part 2)  -- Sharing a Clear Vision for Mindanao Peace

MILF: Editorial -- Duterte-Sultan Bolkiah meeting

Editorial posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Oct 16): Editorial -- Duterte-Sultan Bolkiah meeting

Promoting close ties and cooperation with immediate neighbors is a sound foreign policy. Its should be pursued and sustained in both its long and short term considerations. There is nothing to lose but more to gain.

Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia are our closest neighbors. All three states also belong to the great Malay race. More importantly, the three states are deeply involved in the resolution of the conflict in Mindanao.  Of course, their participation are upon the invitations of the MILF and the Philippine government.

We expect -- and hope -- that President Rodrigo Duterte should take the occasion to thank the Brunei sultan for their contribution to the peace process in Mindanao.  Brunei is a member of the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) that monitors the ceasefire between the MILF and the government, as well as in the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB) that oversees the decommissioning of MILF weapons and combatants and put them (weapons) beyond use.

 In these contexts, we appreciate very much the decision of President Duterte to visit Brunei to meet with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah. The Philippines will reap many good things from this close ties. Although Brunei is a small state of less than half a million population, but it is extremely wealthy.  It can invest anywhere in the Philippines especially in Davao City, the hometown of the President.

 Our only regret is that the chairperson of the Lower House Committee on BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asia Growth Areas) is not assigned to a Moro legislator. It could have been better if a Muslim lawmaker got the chairmanship for several reasons. One is that Moro provinces deserved immediate intervention in terms of development, because they are the most depressed areas in the country. Even the halal industry is not lodged with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) but to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Who knows what is halal more than a Muslim?

The word halal, in Arabic, means permitted or lawful. Halal foods are foods that are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines. According to these guidelines that were gathered from the Qu'ran, Muslim followers cannot consume the following foods: Pork or pork by products, animals that were dead prior to slaughtering, animals not slaughtered properly or not slaughtered in the name of Allah, blood and blood by products, alcohol, carnivorous animals, birds of prey, and land animals without external ears.

Von voyage Mr. President!

NDF: NDFP Panel Condemns Brutal Dispersal of Peaceful Protest in Front of the US Embassy

Posted to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines Website (Oct 20): NDFP Panel Condemns Brutal Dispersal of Peaceful Protest in Front of the US Embassy  

Press Release
October 19, 2016

The NDFP Negotiating Panel strongly condemns the brutal police dispersal of the peaceful rally of lumads and their supporters in front of the US embassy calling for the scrapping of EDCA and other unequal treaties with the US and an end to the US-instigated Oplan Bayanihan. According to the latest reports from Karapatan, more than 50 were injured after the police dispersed the crowd with tear gas, repeatedly rammed a mobile patrol car against the rallyists and chased them with truncheons all the way from the US embassy premises up to Kalaw Street. Thirty-one rallyists were arrested.
The rally was already winding up when Police Supt. Marcelino Pedroso ordered his men to disperse the rallyists with tear gas and truncheons.

The peaceful rally was headed by SANDUGO and supported by progressive groups like BAYAN, Anakbayan and Kabataan Partylist. SANDUGO is an alliance of national minorities and indigenous peoples from Northern Luzon to Mindanao whose communities have borne the brunt of military operations under the US-instigated Oplan Bayanihan.
The lumad communities in Mindanao have not only suffered from the devastation of their ancestral lands as a result of the operations of foreign mining companies and agro-corporations. Oplan Bayanihan has been used to protect these foreign companies against the opposition of the Lumads to the companies’ destructive operations. Lumad communities have been forcibly evacuated and their leaders assassinated as in the recent case of Jimmy Saypan, the secretary general of ComVal Farmers Association.

The rallyists were calling for the withdrawal of all US troops from the Philippines in accordance with Pres. Duterte’s policy statement on charting an independent course in foreign policy. They also called for an end to the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan in view of Pres. Duterte’s declared policy of reaching a negotiated settlement to the armed conflict with the forces of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Apparently, parts of the military and police apparatus are still stuck in the old mindset of subservience and mendicancy to US imperialist interests contrary to their President’s avowed commitment to pursue an independent foreign policy. Pres. Duterte has more than once reminded the US that the Philippines was no longer its colony. He has declared that he would develop friendly relations with all countries including Russia and China and not be used by the US in its wars and conflicts with other powers as his predecessors had done before him.

Most likely, there are elements within the military and police who are against the new policy direction of their commander-in-chief and are out to sabotage the ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
We call on Pres. Duterte to discipline the police and rein in his troops. They must be told to respect the people’s rights to peaceful assembly and free speech. These rights are guaranteed in the GRP constitution and in the CARHRIHL (Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law) signed by the two sides in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

Signed by:
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

[Video: 24 Oras: Protesta sa harap ng U.S. Embassy, nauwi sa karahasan]


NDFP Media Group

Dan Borjal




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whatsapp: Dan Borjal

CPP/NDF: US Imperialism, rabid anti-Duterte clique of the ruling class are accountable for the violent dispersal of national minorities

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Oct 22): US Imperialism, rabid anti-Duterte clique of the ruling class are accountable for the violent dispersal of national minorities

NDFP Southern Mindanao Region
The National Democratic Front – Southern Mindanao condemns in the strongest terms the violent dispersal of protesting national minorities and their supporters in front of the US Embassy on Wednesday, October 19.

Majority of the demonstrators were Lumad, Moro, Cordillera peoples and national minorities came all the way from remote  parts of the country to express support of the GRP-NDFP peace process and voice their legitimate demands, specifically the cessation of  on-going combat and civil military operations of AFP troops in the countryside.  They also aired their opposition to the unabated plunder and dispossession of their ancestral lands by foreign large-scale mining  and agribusiness plantations and other US business interests.

Wednesday’s violent dispersal showed only too clearly the extent to which the reactionary state armed forces will employ in order to protect US imperialist interests in the country. Personnel of the Philippine National Police deliberately and repeatedly ran over protesters with their vehicle, severely wounding at least 50, including women and elderly. They used water cannons and tear gas bombs on the protesters, illegally arrested and detained 24 people following the violent dispersal.

US imperialism has dispatched its most rabid running dogs in the country to authorize this violent dispersal of the demonstrators to show its displeasure over GRP Pres. Duterte’s moves to establish ties with China.  This recent attack on our national minorities in defense of US imperialism should therefore only strengthen the President’s resolve to abrogate all onerous economic and military agreements with the United States and continue to push for an active and independent foreign policy.

We urge GRP Pres. Duterte to ensure that the militarist upper echelons in the AFP and the PNP who were responsible for the October 19 violent dispersal be held accountable.  The protesters should find even a token of  justice in a system riddled with the culture of impunity.  The anti-Duterte clique is clearly servile to the interests of US imperialism and are in the forefront of the on-going maneuvers to undermine Duterte and push him out of office.

NDFP-SMR encourages all the Lumads, Moro, Cordillera Peoples and other national minorities and advocates to persevere with their legitimate demands, especially the pull-out of AFP troops in their communities, the abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.  They must persist in their fight to end the imperialist plunder of our natural resources.

The national  minorities’ struggle for the right to self-determination and a just and lasting peace highlight the people’s demand to be rid of the clutches of US imperialism, and the exploitation being perpetuated by big landlords and corrupt bureaucrats in the country, which are at the root of the armed conflict.

CPP: Condemn the violent dispersals at the US Embassy and Camp Aguinaldo

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Oct 19): Condemn the violent dispersals at the US Embassy and Camp Aguinaldo

Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) strongly condemn the violent dispersal of the demonstration of patriotic organizations led by national minority groups in front of the US embassy earlier today. Police personnel used water cannons and tear gas bombs against the demonstrators.
Photo courtesy of Kodao Productions
Photo courtesy of Kodao Productions
Comprising the bulk of the demonstrators were national minority and peasant groups who are in the national capital to demand an end to the militarization of their rural communities which are being subjected to the US-directed counter-insurgency Oplan Bayanihan.
At least 29 demonstrators were arrested in the dispersal including peasants, students, doctors and others. Several demonstrators were hurt when police vehicles ran over them.

Today’s violent dispersal follows a similar violent dispersal yesterday in front of Camp Aguinaldo, the national headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The CPP holds the leadership of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and officials of the Duterte government responsible for the violent affront against the people’s democratic rights to demonstrate and seek redress.

That the successive dispersals were carried out with such viciousness reveal the  deep-seated hostility against the people and patriotic forces of those police and military officers who ordered the dispersals. These officers must be immediately identified, investigated and put to task.

The violent dispersal is a direct violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). The CPP urges the Negotiating Panel of the NDFP to raise the matter of the violent dispersal with their GRP counterparts.

The CPP supports the demand of the peasants and minority groups for an immediate end to the military occupation of their communities.

CPP: The two aspects of friendship with China

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Oct 21): The two aspects of friendship with China

Communist Party of the Philippines
(Published as an article in October 21, 2016 issue of Ang Bayan)

GRP President Duterte is currently in China to forge economic and security agreements. He was welcomed by China as a firm ally and friend.

The visit is expected to pave the way for the large inflow of monopoly capitalist investments from China.

The Party and revolutionary movement has a critical view of the Duterte regime’s policy of amity and friendship with China. On the one hand, the revolutionary movement is aware that China has its imperialist self-interest in forging friendship with the Philippines. On the other hand, they also see the opportunities for positive changes in the economy and people’s livelihood which were long closed because of US domination and reliance.

China is one of the biggest capitalist countries and a burgeoning imperialist power. It was once a modern socialist country (1949-1976) before the new bourgeoisie which emerged from the bureaucracy wrested state power and destroyed the Communist Party of China and the socialist system.

China is currently confronting a capitalist crisis in finance and over production. Its inventory of surplus goods (steel, cellphones and other electronic products and parts) is growing as well as uninvestible surplus capital. It seeks areas to dump its surplus goods and bigger sources of cheap labor-power and raw materials to run its so-called Factory Asia-the network of tightly linked factories in different countries that engage in semi-processing.

China has imperialist ambitions. Along with the expansion of China’s economic empire, there is also its strategic deployment of military forces in various parts of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. China’s geopolitical interests are increasing and its challenge to US hegemony is growing.
Duterte’s friendship with China can help the Filipino people in  their struggle to break free from US control and domination and end reliance on US imperialism. But this will happen only if the Filipino people’s national democratic struggle will continue to advance and if the Duterte regime will forge with them a patriotic alliance.

Several billion dollars of investments and loans from China are bound to build factories and plantations that are geared to supply the factories and market of China. In the name of unity with the Filipino people against US imperialism, China must be called upon to allot a substantial amount of investments to support national industrialization and genuine land reform to get the local economy to stand on its own feet. The protection of the welfare of millions of people must be ensured in every infrastructure project.

The struggle for genuine land reform must be advanced vigorously. The Filipino people must challenge Duterte to smash the economic power of the big landlords who long have served as power base of US imperialism in the Philippines and are among the principal factors for the backward economy.

It is China’s plan to build large plantations for export production. This contravenes the interests of the peasant masses and the minority peoples and is destructive to the environment. This must not be allowed to become a dominant aspect in the rural economy.

Duterte must train principal attention to distributing land to peasant tillers as a means of correcting a historic injustice, and to pave the way for modernization of local agriculture geared towards the production of food and other needs for local processing.

In his earlier declaration, Duterte has been busy attracting foreign investments, in particular, investments from state-private firms of China. This corresponds with China’s plans to build infrastructure for production and transportation in accordance with its plan to reach out to the farthest corners of the world to draw in hundreds of millions of people into its wide ocean of labor-power.
The Filipino people must insist that establishing  steel and other basic industries must be given priority. Duterte must insist on China that its investments in export-oriented production should have a counterpart investment or assistance to more basic industries needed by the country.

To ensure that the people are not completely disadvantaged, Duterte must ensure that such policies will have a corresponding policy of protecting national interests. It must be insisted that a portion of investments be alloted to basic industries and that there should be technology transfer. There must also be clear-cut policy for protecting the environment and the national patrimony.

The people must challenge Duterte to protect the interests of the working class against very low wages and to repudiate the policy of privatization and commercialization of public services. The Duterte regime must take immediate steps to control prices of food, medicine, fuel and other basic commodities.

If Duterte will not uphold the democratic interests of the people, Philippine ties with China will only lead to replacing the giant that dominates and plunders the country and the perpetuation of foreign monopoly capitalist plunder of the country.

If the people’s interests are not prioritized, the promised new roads, bridges, rails and ports will be for naught. The economy will be glittery outside but underdeveloped inside. There will be factories but no industrialization; there will be plantations but the people will lack food and be condemned to hunger.

It is in the geopolitical interest of China to turn the Philippines into a bastion of anti-US imperialism. This is consistent with the aspirations of the Filipino people. To forge cooperation, China must recognize and respect the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippines.

As a friendly overture, China must stop its exclusive claims of the fishing area around Bajo de Masinloc. It can support the clamor for  demilitarization of the South China Sea and avoid taking steps that contravene other country’s claims.

China can build long-lasting friendship with the Filipino people if it will support genuine land reform and the establishment of various basic industries. This is comparable to effort of the US and Japan to support land reform and building basic industries in Taiwan (from the 1950s) and South Korea (from the 1960s) with the aim of turning these into capitalist bases in the struggle then against the promotion of anti-imperialism and socialism in China and North Korea.

US imperialism is closely watching the forging of China-Philippine friendship under Duterte. Its agents in the AFP and other state agencies are mobilizing to prepare for measures to prevent the strategic weakening of US control and influence in the Philippines.

It promoting friendship with China, Duterte must also seek to weaken US imperialist influence and control of the AFP which has been dependent on US military aid and oppose the policy of suppression against the anti-imperialist, progressive and revolutionary forces.

CPP/NDF: Kamtin ang Makatarungan at Pangmatagalang Kapayapaan!

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Oct 21): Kamtin ang Makatarungan at Pangmatagalang Kapayapaan! (Achieve Just and Lasting Peace!)

Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid National Democratic Front of the Philippines
(National Peasant Confederation of National Democratic Front of the Philippines)

Mahigipit na sinusuportahan ng Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid (PKM) ang nagaganap na negosasyong pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) at Gobyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas (GRP) sa ilalim ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. Naniniwala ang PKM na maaaring magkamit ng mga tagumpay ang masang magsasaka sa pamamagitan ang negosasyong pangkapayapaan.

Sa pamamagitan ng usapang pangkapayapaan, malakas na naipapahayag ng NDFP ang mga programa nito bilang tunay na solusyon sa lumalalang krisis ng lipunang mala-kolonyal at mala-pyudal na nagdudulot ng ibayong pagsasamantala sa mga magsasaka. Layunin ng usapang pangkapayapaan na lutasin ang ugat ng armadong tunggalian sa kanayunan kabilang na ang monopolyo at kontrol sa lupa ng malalaking panginoong maylupa at ang lumalalang kawalan ng lupa ng masang magasasaka sa isang panig.

Sa kasalukuyang yugto, alinsunod sa mga adyendang itinatadhana ng The Hague Joint Declaration, ay tinatalakay ng dalawang panig ang pagkakaroon ng isang comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms (CASER). Ang sentro de grabidad ng burador ng NDFP sa CASER ay ang kambal na pangangailangan ng reporma sa lupa at pambansang industriyalisasyon. KInakailangan ang reporma sa lupa upang bigyang-wakas sa monopolyo sa lupa, libreng pamamahagi ng lupa sa mga magsasakang nagbubungkal at palakasin ang agrikultura upang matiyak ang malagong pinagkukunan ng pagkain, mga ilang hilaw na sangkap para sa industriya at malawak na palengke para sa mga produktong industriyal at agrikultural. Kailangan ang pambansang industrialisasyon para lumikha ng mga makina at iba pang abanteng kagamitan para sa agrikultura.

Kapanabay nito ay malakas na iginigiit ng NDFP ang kagyat na pagpapalaya sa lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal. Kinakailangang palayain ng GRP ang lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal bilang pagtalima nito sa mga kasunduang muling pinagtibay ng dalawang panig partikular na ang Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) at ang Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG).

Sa kabila ng nagaganap na negosasyong pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng GRP at NDFP ay lalong umiigting ang tunggalian sa pagitan ng uring magsasaka at malalaking panginoong maylupa at komprador. Nagpapatuloy ang pagpaslang sa mga magsasakang naggigiit ng karapatan sa lupa at lumalahok sa pampulitikang pakikibaka ng mamamayan. Nananatiling instrumento ng malalaking panginoong maylupa, mga dambuhalang korporasyong lokal at dayuhan ang militar at pulis sa pangangamkam at pagpapalayas sa mga magsasaka sa lupang pinagbubuwisan nila ng pawis at dugo. Kabilang dito ang naganap na masaker sa mga magsasaka sa Fort Magsaysay sa Nueva Ecija, ang pagpaslang sa mga lider-magsasaka sa Isabela sa Hilagang Luzon at Compostela sa Timog Mindanao. Gayundin, ginamit ng kapulisan ang kampanya ni Duterte laban sa droga nang salakayin, illegal na arestuhin, at sampahan ng gawa-gawang kaso ang apat na magsasaka sa San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan na naggigiit ng kanilang karapatan sa lupa.

Nagpapatuloy din ang paggamit ng karahasan upang supilin ang makatwiran at lehitimong protesta ng mga magsasaka at katutubo laban sa militarisasyon kanayunan at interbensyong militar ng US sa bansa. Tampok dito ang magkasunod na marahas na dispersal kamakailan laban sa mga magsasaka at katutubo mula sa Mindanao sa harap ng General Headquarters ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sa Kampo Aguinaldo at sa harap ng US Embassy.

Sa harap ng nagaganap na usapang pangkapayapaan ay higit na nararapat na magpatuloy ang mga magsasaka sa pakikibaka. Anumang tagumpay na makakamtan sa usapang pangkapayapaan ay ibubunga ng malakas na kilusan at pagkilos ng mamamayan.

Dapat na tuluy-tuloy na lumahok ang mga magsasaka sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan at isulong ang armadong pakikibaka at rebolusyong agraryo sa kanayunan. Sa pamamagitan ng ibayong pagpapalakas ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan ng mga magsasaka at mamamayan at pagpapaigting ng digmang bayan sa kanayunan makakamit ang tunay, makatarungan, at pangmatagalang kapayapaan.
Isulong ang Rebolusyong Agraryo at Armadong Pakikibaka!

 Mabuhay ang Digmang Bayan!
Mabuhay ang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas!
Mabuhay ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan!
Mabuhay ang NDFP!

Release of political prisoners could fast track GRP-NDF peace talks—Bello

From the often times pro-Communist Party of the Philippines online publication the Davao Today (Oct 22): Release of political prisoners could fast track GRP-NDF peace talks—Bello

The release of remaining 434 political prisoners could hasten the GRP-NDFP peace talks and improve trust between two parties, the chair of the government peace panel said.

“If possible, from the commitment of our president, we’ll have the political detainees and prisoners released at the same time but we have to understand that the nature of their situation is not the same,” government peace panel chair Silvestre Bello III said.

Bello clarified that some of the political prisoners are either detained, investigated, on trial or convicted.

“While the optimum resolve will be to have them all out all together we have to understand the processes through which we have to obtain their releases.” he said.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Oct. 13, the Communist Party of the Philippines said the release of the political prisoners “will further boost the Duterte regime’s efforts to forge an alliance with the patriotic forces.”

The CPP said the remaining political prisoners were imprisoned “because they stood up and struggled against the US-puppet regimes of Aquino and Arroyo.”

The CPP also said that the release will “pave the way for the signing of a bilateral ceasefire agreement” and warned if such agreement would be unfulfilled by the end of October it “would prevent the forging of a bilateral ceasefire agreement.”

Bello, however, said the release will not tie up with the ceasefire declaration, saying  “there is a commitment from the president that he will release the political detainees and prisoners so we will do our best to obtain those releases.”

“[The] ceasefire is a separate issue although [the] releases can be taken as a confidence building measure which would motivate the other party to finally not only go to into signing but upgrading the level of ceasefire from unilateral, indefinite to joint and permanent ceasefire,” Bello said. “The releases of the political prisoners will continue even before the joint permanent ceasefire is signed and that a process is being followed for the amnesty.”

Joint ceasefire

During the first rounds of the resumption of peace talks, both GRP and NDFP issued separate indefinite ceasefire declarations.

Bello said that both parties already agreed to craft and agree on signing a joint, permanent ceasefire, 60 days after the first round of the resumption of peace talks, Aug. 27.

“So you count it from there, it should be October 26 [in which] we will be signing [the] joint, permanent ceasefire,” Bello said.

The CPP, however, recognized that the absence of a joint ceasefire agreement and the continuing military operations of the government troops, might force the hand of the CPP and New People’s Army to cut short its earlier declaration of an indefinite ceasefire.

This, according to the CPP, is “in order to enable the NPA to more effectively defend itself and the people’s rights and interest.”

On September 22, the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process said panel members from both parties met in Manila “to discuss the possibility of a bilateral ceasefire agreement between the two parties and the revitalization of their monitoring mechanism for human rights and international humanitarian law.”

“I am pleased to tell you that unlike in the previous processes, this time, we see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Bello said. “Secretary [Jess] Dureza and I were discussing this and he said that this is the only time that they felt the peace negotiation has a direction.”

On the other hand, the CPP said the Filipino people “would like to see the initial efforts of the Duterte regime to promote peace negotiations to gain further track by effecting the release of all remaining political prisoners before the end of the month.”

“The revolutionary forces are also keenly interested in forging a patriotic alliance with the Duterte region as this can serve the aspiration of the Filipino people to achieve national sovereignty and end foreign intervention in order for the country to plan out and tread and independent path of mass-oriented development and progress,” the CPP said.

Bello hopes that future decisions “may be able to succeed to bring this process into its logical conclusion and that is, lasting peace for our country.”

Thorny issues emerge in Oslo peace talks

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines-associated online propaganda publication Bulatlat (Oct 22): Thorny issues emerge in Oslo peace talks

The second round of peace talks in Oslo, Norway between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ended on a noticeably less upbeat tone compared to the resumption in August. The weather seemed to forebode such an outcome with the sunny days at the start giving way to overcast skies and a gloomier atmosphere.

There was a listlessness in the air as the two peace panels strived to come up with their joint statement. Down the wire there were changes to the working draft and much shuttling back and forth resulting in a longer final panel-to-panel meeting. When the time for signing came, there was a collective sigh of relief instead of the unqualifiedly cheery reception at the conclusion of the first round.

To be fair, the parties had achieved the objectives they had set for this round, arriving at common outlines for the substantive agenda on Social and Economic Reforms (SER), Political and Constitutional Reforms (PCR) and End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (EHDF). For the PCR and EHDF, work was easier, smoother and therefore quicker as the Reciprocal Working Groups (RWGs) on both sides generally were well prepared and in agreement on the general topics to be covered. Moreover, they reaffirmed that the agreements on PCR and EHDF could not run ahead of that on SER. The latter must set the pace and content of any agreements to be crafted on PCR and EHDF.

The Reciprocal Working Committees (RWCs) on SER had a much more difficult time getting their act together despite working overtime and holding many one-sided caucuses in between.

Negotiations on SER are facing serious if not overwhelming odds beginning with a whale of a difference in the two Parties’ appreciation of what is wrong with the system and ergo what reforms are needed to address the roots of the armed conflict. For the GRP, it is a matter of making the system work better, to be more “inclusive,” be less bureaucratic or more responsive to the poor and underprivileged sections of society, and, perhaps, more accommodating to the demands of the NDFP forces that have been fighting for major reforms.

On top of contrasting if not diametrically opposed points of view, was the seeming lackadaisical preparation of the GRP RWC-SER. They did not even have an honest-to-goodness draft outline comparable to the fleshed-out one submitted by the NDFP. They insisted on adding a section entitled “Outcomes” that they said was in consonance with the way the GRP organized its executive departments and would make it easier for these departments to see their role and function in a Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

The GRP panel seemed to expect the NDFP to agree to the premise that socioeconomic reforms should dovetail the way the GRP is organized. The current panel apparently has not discarded the framework of its predecessors in keeping reforms strictly within the bounds of the GRP Constitution and legal processes. This contravenes the guideline clearly enunciated by no less than their principal, President Rodrigo Duterte, in the presence of the GRP panel and NDFP panel members and consultants last Sept. 26 in MalacaƱang. Responding to NDFP Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni’s statements on the need for land reform and national industrialization, the President said he welcomes reforms “as long as these are achievable within the Constitution, or achievable through amendments to the Constitution.”

In contrast, the NDFP presented a radically different analysis of what ails Philippine society and consequently what are the major socioeconomic reforms needed to solve these ills. The NDFP-proposed outline reflected this in terms of highlighting the long-standing problem of land monopoly by a few, necessitating a genuine land reform program anchored on the principle of land to the tiller.
The NDFP draft also confronted the backward, pre-industrial, dependent character of the national economy undergirding poverty and joblessness. The NDFP contended that no less than a comprehensive overhaul of the GRP’s policy framework is needed. This would encompass dismantling its neoliberal economic framework and pursuing national industrialization to meet the basic needs of the people, harness the country’s abundant natural and labor resources, and lead the way towards a pro-people, sustainable development.

That a unified CASER outline was eventually arrived at speaks of the remaining goodwill and earnestness on both sides to find common ground considering they are just at the very early stages of negotiating on this key agenda.

Thornier still is the matter of GRP’s release of more than 400 political prisoners including three remaining JASIG-protected NDFP consultants who are serving time in the National Penitentiary after having been convicted on trumped-up common crimes. The “legal offensive” undertaken by the GRP since the Arroyo regime is clearly intended to harass, arrest and indefinitely detain dissidents — whether armed revolutionaries or plain activists — and keep them from effectively opposing government policies and programs they deem wrong and anti-people.

This GRP continuing practice is a clear travesty of justice, contravenes the GRP’s established jurisprudence that prohibits the criminalization of political offenses (Hernandez doctrine), and also violates the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Again, President Duterte had unequivocally stated before the GRP panel and the NDFP panel members and consultants that he would “stop this policy (of charging and detaining suspected revolutionaries with criminal offenses… otherwise, we will never have peace, because there will always be injustice.”

Unfortunately, GRP’s promises to effect the release of all the political prisoners are appearing to be more and more unreliable, uncertain and perhaps part of a ploy to keep up the hopes of the political prisoners, their families and comrades while being utilized as bait for the NDFP to enter prematurely and unjustifiably into a bilateral cease-fire.

Based on the GRP’s conduct at the second round of formal talks, it has become increasingly obvious that it remains fixated on “reducing the levels of violence” by clinching a bilateral cease-fire and giving this primacy over the negotiations on basic social, economic and political reforms. Like its predecessors, it justifies or rationalizes this track with the worn-out argument that violence or armed conflict is the root cause of non-development, poverty, and social inequities.

The NDFP, on the other hand, has repeatedly and forthrightly stated that the progress of negotiations on the CASER and the release of all political prisoners through general amnesty would serve as a huge incentive for the NDFP to work on a bilateral cease-fire with the GRP. The NDFP had in fact declared an unprecedented indefinite cease-fire simultaneous with and in reciprocation of the GRP unilateral cease-fire as a goodwill and confidence-building measure along with measures to accelerate negotiations on the substantive agenda.

The unstated implication is that a bilateral cease-fire would be less feasible, if more grossly disadvantageous to the NDFP, should the GRP fail or fall short in its share crafting the CASER with the NDFP, and in its commitment to release the political prisoners through amnesty or other efficacious means. Even with the ongoing simultaneous unilateral cease-fires, numerous reports indicate that the AFP and PNP have continued the GRP’s counterinsurgency operations under Oplan Bayanihan. True, there has been a marked decrease in armed encounters between the New People’s Army (NPA) and state security forces. But the attacks by AFP-led paramilitaries on communities, especially in the hinterlands such as the lumad areas, are unabated, again despite Pres. Duterte’s order to the AFP to disarm and control these paramilitary forces.

The GRP’s mixed signals threatens to confound and complicate the GRP-NDFP peace process.

Carol Pagaduan-Araullo is a medical doctor by training, social activist by choice, columnist by accident, happy partner to a liberated spouse and proud mother of two.
Published in Business World
Oct. 17, 2016

AFP uses ceasefire to advance campaign against ​Red forces – former lawmaker

From the pro-Communist Party of the Philippines online publication the Davao Today (Oct 21): AFP uses ceasefire to advance campaign against ​Red forces – former lawmaker

A former partylist lawmaker accused the Armed Forces of the Philippines of using the interim ceasefires by both the government and the New People’s Army to advance its objective of eradicating the New People’s Army under the previous administration’s counter insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan.

Satur Ocampo, former Bayan Muna representative, and now an independent cooperator for the peace talks made the comments during a peace forum dubbed ‘Lakbayan Para sa Kalayaan’ (Caravan for Freedom) held at the multipurpose gymnasium of the Department of Agrarian Reform here, where over 1,000 indigenous and Moro people attended.

Ocampo said that the communist rebels received reports from the communities that some army soldiers were deceiving the townsfolk.

“In Sallapadan, Abra where the 24th IB operates, the officers there were telling the people that the ceasefire is no longer in place, that’s why their operations will resume. Another officer said, we are doing this because the NPA will not attack us anymore because they are in ceasefire mode,” Ocampo said.

“We see here that they brag about seemingly coercing the NPA’s to declare a truce. They are deceiving the people and using the ceasefire to advance the Oplan Bayanihan,” he said.

Ocampo also criticized the vague operating guidelines of the government’s ceasefire, particularly the persistence of the peace and development program, a component of the Oplan Bayanihan.

“They have this treacherous guidelines that allow for loopholes or exceptions in their ceasefire: the persistence of the Peace and Development Program, which is part of the counter insurgency platform Oplan Bayanihan. This also includes their legal offensives, where they charge rebels they arrest with common crimes. Because of these guidelines, the military operations in the areas of the NPA continue,” Ocampo said.

“Now in order to show that they are true to their word, the NPA retreats whenever they see army soldiers entering their communities for Peace and Development programs, or even those what they call as their barangay immersions,” Ocampo added.

Ocampo also called on the national minorities in the audience that live in communities where the AFP operates to report any ceasefire violations that they may encounter.