The Makabayan bloc in Congress denounced the new conditions being set by the Duterte administration for the resumption of the stalled peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) “which are nothing but Duterte’s militarist demands to slaughter any chance of resuming peacetalks.
The bloc “calls on the people to rally against the Duterte militarist policy and press for the immediate resumption of the peace talks based on the previous agreements and those signed last June 9 for stand down and 5th round of talks. They warned that now war freaks Duterte militarist regime are now on rampage of arresting, abducting and killing activists and civilians and it should be stopped and be compelled to return to the negotiating table.”
The Makabayan Bloc coalition in Congress is composed of Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, ACT Teachers partylist Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Gabriela Women’s Party Reps.Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, Anakpawis partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao and Kabataan partylist Rep. Sarah Elago.
Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said that the in addition to holding the talks in the Philippines, rather than abroad as has been done since 1992, the resumption would be subject to other “wishes of the President.”
The other conditions were no power-sharing or a coalition government with the communist rebels, a stop to their revolutionary tax collection, and a ceasefire agreement requiring the New People’s Army (NPA) encamped in designated areas and for localized peace talks to start,”
“It has long been the practice of the peace negitiations that there should be no pre-conditions in starting or resuming the talks and instead confidence building measures are undertaken by the two parties.
But now the fascist Duterte regime would like to reinvent the wheel of the peace talks to their specifications or tamper previously signed agreements foremost of which are the Hague Declaration, Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees which defines the agenda, conduct and venue of the talks,” they added.
While they are setting preconditions for the peace talks they are also working to jail the consultants of the NDFP. After intensifying their verbal and legal attacks against the peace negotiators of the NDFP by vilifying them as spoiled brats, now they want the NDFP consultants to be jailed,” said the statement.
According to media reports five (5) NDFP peace consultants – Benito Tiamzon, Adelberto Silva, Rafael Baylosis, Randall Echanis and Vicente Ladlad–were earlier allowed to travel abroad to participate in the stalled negotiations as consultants of the National Democratic Front supposedly scheduled last June 28.
“These peace saboteurs launch attacks on the peace process in all fronts but fail to put forward a paradigm that would effectively address the root causes of the armed conflict. Their default solution to the problem is still the US-prescribed of psychological operation and all-out war that they have been doing for decades and have been proven to be a failure and a waste of lives and resources” said Rep. Zarate. ###