Local revolutionary formations spurn ‘localized peace talks’

7 mins read

Information Bureau | Communist Party of the Philippines
July 18, 2018

AFP PHOTO / Noel CELIS

More and more regional committees of the CPP, field commands of the NPA and local revolutionary formations have issued separate statements firmly rejecting and condemning the Duterte regime’s so-called “localized” peace talks. These declarations are clear indications that Duterte’s localized peace talks are set to fail.

Revolutionary forces across the country at various levels belie claims by Duterte officials that the rejection of the sham localized talks came only from peace negotiators of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) based in The Netherlands, and not from forces on the ground. These statements are virtual slaps on the face of Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Local revolutionary forces echo the earlier statement issued by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denouncing Duterte’s local peace talks which smokescreen its total war against the people and widespread military abuses under Mindanao martial law and Oplan Kapayapaan. They also point out how such pretend talks will fail in their respective areas.

This outpouring of rejections came after Malacañang repeatedly defended its plan to issue an executive order for localized peace talks in order to pretend to be for peace after having terminated formal negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP.

Rejections
The following are highlights of statements issued by various local revolutionary forces:

In Northern Luzon.
The NPA-Venerando Villacillo Command (NPA-VCC) in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces explained that localized peace talks will not resolve the root of the armed conflict. “Only the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, armed state forces, intelligence units, local elite and foreign imperialist capitalists would benefit from localized peace talks,” NPA-VCC said. The 5th ID based in Gamu, Isabela province is the primary AFP unit operating in most parts of Northern Luzon.

The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) also said that their forces will not participate in any localized peace talks with the reactionary government. CPDF spokesperson Simon Naogsan declared: “Among Cordillerans, national oppression is perpetrated by the reactionary state ruled by big landlords, comprador bourgeoisie and US imperialism. We cannot expect these problems to be answered by local governments.” He also expressed unequivocable support for the negotiating panel of the NDFP in its representation of all revolutionary forces in national level negotiations with the GRP.

In Bicol
The NPA-Celso Minguez Command (NPA-CMC) in Sorsogon dubbed the Duterte regime’s localized peace talks as a “deceptive offer.” Samuel Guerrero, NPA-CMC spokesperson, explained that the Duterte regime is pushing for these deceptive talks to hide the fact that it does not really plan to finalize and sign the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) which addresses the fundamental people’s demands for genuine land reform and national industrialization. He added that “the people of Sorsogon will not be deceived by the renewed schemes of Duterte and his armed forces…” Guerrero maintained the NPA-CMC will never participate in these bogus talks.

In the Visayas
NDFP-Negros Island spokesperson Frank Fernandez said in peddling localized peace talks, Duterte is “playing blind to the every day struggles of Filipinos” and showing indifference to the dire conditions of the Filipino people “that are not exclusive to individual communities” but prevail across the nation. Fernandez maintained that the revolutionary forces in Negros reject the localized peace talks as these are only designed to “smokescreen the brutal and ruthless all-out war that has beset the country and divert attention from Duterte’s unwillingness to pursue agrarian reform, national industrialization and national sovereignty.”

Concha Araneta, NDFP-Panay spokesperson, stressed that not one region has been – or will ever be – enticed and fooled by the reactionary regime to hold peace talks at the regional, provincial, city or municipal level. “NDF-Panay and all revolutionary forces in the region totally reject any call for local peace talks with the local bureaucracy or any other entity blessed by the anti-peace liar and chief fascist representative of the ruling class in the country.”

In Southern Mindanao
NDFP-Southern Mindanao Spokesperson Rubi del Mundo said localized peace talks are being rejected by revolutionary forces in Southern Mindanao, from where Duterte himself came from. “It is nothing but a hollow attempt to draw a veil over the ravages of Martial Law in Mindanao and the escalating bloodbath of Oplan Kapayapaan affecting millions of civilians in the country,” del Mundo said. “In advocating for localized peace talks, Duterte, in truth, appeals to the corrupt nature of his fellow bureaucrat capitalists by encouraging them to subvert previously agreed-upon guidelines and machineries and the advances borne out of the past 25 years.”

Futile move
This barrage of rejections will continue as other regional and local commands and formations of the CPP, NPA, and NDFP are set to issue their own statements. All these statements affirm that all revolutionary forces under the leadership of the CPP – from Luzon to Mindanao– reject this pretend ‘localized’ peace talks.”

We repeat: The broad masses demand not ‘local peace talks’ but an end to Duterte’s total war against civilians, the aerial bombings, the military occupation of communities, the sham campaign of forcing people to enlist as “surrenderers,” widespread killings and other abuses. The people are being roused to arms by Duterte’s Oplan Kapayapaan.

Pursuing pretend localized peace talks is a futile move as these talks are set to completely fail. Even Mayor Sara Duterte of Davao City has given up on her pet project of local peace talks knowing how foolish she would appear talking to her own shadow. Her father’s regime should see how foolish his government is in relentlessly pursuing this patently stupid act.

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