Expose “two-faced” Duterte in sudden postponement of NDFP-GPH peace talks

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NDFP-North Central Mindanao
June 16, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte exposed his “two-faced” character in his sudden postponement of the scheduled resumption of the NDFP-GPH peace negotiations.

Duterte displayed his insincerity and conveyed the message that he is the least bit interested in achieving just and lasting peace. Instead, he is merely interested in employing militarist measures aimed at forcing the NDFP into capitulation or surrender, without urgent and serious intent to address the basic social, political and economic problems besetting the Filipino people.

The continued intensification of martial law in Mindanao, its looming implementation nationwide and Duterte’s penchant to impose an “iron-fist” tyrannical rule provide sufficient motive for him to disregard and jeopardize the peace talks.

Martial law continues to wreak terror and havoc in Mindanao with the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ incessant and indiscriminate bombings of communities, human rights violations and countless abuses. A de facto nationwide martial law is in the offing with plans to implement draconian policies such as the National ID system, the arming of barangay captains, the giving of subpoena powers to the PNP, the order to arrest “tambays” and such under the guise of “public order” and “empowerment of local government units”.

These portray that Duterte is more inclined to employ military force against revolutionary forces and the people in adherence to the US counter-insurgency “war on terror”. The sudden and arbitrary postponement of the peace talks shows Duterte’s lack of political will amid strong opposition from US-controlled army generals in his cabinet and security cluster.

Duterte is gravely mistaken if he thinks that the NDFP can be forced into capitulation. His repeated show of contempt for signed agreements between the GRP and NDFP, the continuance of warrantless arrests and the order to re-arrest NDFP consultants, his refusal to honor his promise to release political prisoners and his perpetuation of the AFP’s “all-out-war” against the revolutionary movement, the Moro and the Filipino people are direct violations of the Hague Declaration and the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. The NDFP is wary of any and all tactics by the US-Duterte regime to trick the revolutionary movement into the ruse of surrender. It is evermore steadfast in its commitment to the people to achieve just and lasting peace.

Despite this current stumbling block, the NDFP continues to gather support from the broadest masses of the people for the resumption and progress of the peace process. It is now tasked to launch widespread campaigns on the promotion and observance of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and other signed agreements that lay down the character, agenda and mechanisms of the peace talks between the GRP and NDFP.

The NDFP will continue to oppose and expose Oplan Kapayapaan and the US-Duterte regime’s “all-out-war” policy. It will continue to push for genuine economic and political reforms that will uplift the lives of the people amidst the semi-colonial and semi-feudal crisis. It will build the strongest movement of progressive and democratic forces against tyranny and all anti-people policies being imposed and railroaded by Duterte and neoliberal apologists in his government. ###

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