Political and constitutional reforms are in substantive agenda of peace negotiations

9 mins read

By Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

Political and constitutional reforms are part of the substantive agenda of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. This has long been established in the The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 which set forth the framework for the peace negotiations.

Any constitution that purports to be democratic is amendable and carries a provision for amendability. This democratic principle has long been agreed upon by the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels and their principals.

For instance, the militarists in OPAPP cannot consider Duterte as an outlaw and violator of the 1987 constitution of the GRP by proposing a shift to federalism by constitutional amendment. What is unlawful and unconstitutional is for Duterte and his political agents to use federalism as a cover for a highly centralized fascist dictatorship and for the benefit of selected dynasties in the various regions.

It is not true that a constitution is immutable and averse to amendments and reforms once it is written down at a certain time by the political agents of the exploiting classes. It accords with democratic principle and practice that amendments can be proposed and adopted and then finally ratified by the sovereign people in accordance with their fundamental rights and principles.

When two warring parties, like the GRP and NDFP, with their respective constitutions, decide to negotiate peace, they must be ready to amend these in order to allow the needed social, economic, political and constitutional reforms.

The GRP has its amendable 1987 constitution and the NDFP has its own amendable Guide for Establishing the People’s Democratic Government. For the information of the public as well as the OPAPP secretary, the CPP, NPA, NDFP and the revolutionary mass organizations have established organs of political power or self-government in hundreds of municipalities and thousands of villages in the Philippines.

Duterte is merely joking or doing dopehead talk whenever he claims that the revolutionary movement does not have a single barangay as its own territory. In 73 provinces of the Philippines. there are more than 100 guerrilla fronts, with its guerrilla bases and zones, in which the people’s democratic government exists. Despite the extremely violent and deceptive campaigns of the reactionary armed forces, they have not succeeded in destroying a single guerrilla front.

Of course, reactionary military officers often have the illusion that they own the whole country when in big superior force they invade a certain guerrilla front simply because the NPA as guerrilla army retreats and trades space for time to observe the enemy deployment and prepare for tactical counteroffensives. In fact, the ratio of the reactionary military and police forces to the population can never be enough against the people in the process of armed revolution.

The NDFP peace panel busy at work on the CASER during one of the series of talks held in Norway in 2017.

By this time, all reactionaries should recognize that the armed revolutionary movement has preserved and enlarged its forces on a nationwide scale because they are fighting for the just cause of the people against oppression and exploitation by the imperialists and their puppets and have mastered the strategy and tactics of protracted people war, which involves a fluid war of movement that uses concentration, shifting and dispersal as the need arises.

The generals who control OPAPP are militarists and commandists. They think narrowly that peace negotiations are only a matter of preconditioning the negotiations with the surrender of the NDFP to the GRP or requiring the NDFP to surrender to their ready made constitution and ruling system of big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats and military officers servile to US imperialism.

These militarists and commandists are now spreading the lie that the GRP and NDFP and their respective negotiating panels have been engaged in something unconstitutional and unlawful by negotiating and making agreements without the GRP first obtaining the surrender of the NDFP and laying aside the prior need to agree on social, economic and political reforms in order to address the roots of the armed conflict.

This is the latest lie of the OPAPP under the militarists, coming in the wake of its earlier lie that the level of consensus and agreement reached by the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels on CASER are merely the sole handiwork of the NDFP. They try to make the public believe that both the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels have not been holding meetings to discuss and draft provisions of the CASER.

Whatever has been achieved in the drafting of CASER is the result of hard work by the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels, reciprocal working committees and bilateral teams doing policy studies, research and formulating mutually acceptable provisions on social and economic reforms in order to uphold and realize national independence, economic sovereignty, economic development through genuine land reform and national industrialization, social justice and expansion of social services.

The provisions already agreed upon by the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels are the result of negotiating and resolving contradictions between drafts of the GRP and NDFP. This is a process entirely different from generals giving orders to their subordinates. Generals who think that peace negotiations are a process of GRP dictating to the NDFP or vice versa are unfit for assignment to the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

These militarists and commandists are now in fact sabotaging and preventing the resumption of peace negotiations between the duly authorized negotiating panels of the GRP and NDFP. They are violently opposed to social, economic, political and constitutional reforms. They are benefiting privately and materially from the termination of the peace negotiations under Proclamation 360 and from the militarization and fascisation of government and society under Executive Order 70.

They are taking over civilian positions and are pocketing a lot of public money by faking NPA surrenders, encounters and all kinds of anti-people projects. Duterte has enlarged the intelligence and discretionary funds under his office and other agencies in order to bribe and corrupt military and police officers and embolden them to engage in criminal acts. This is Duterte’s way of keeping their loyalty and allowing him to use the military and police forces as his private army for the benefit of his ruling clique and dynasty.

The Filipino people and their revolutionary forces are forewarned by their own enemies in power to prepare themselves for self-defense against the further escalation of armed counterrevolution and to intensify their struggle for just peace through the people’s democratic revolution. The revolutionary slogan is now resounding: people’s war for people’s peace. ###

Latest from Articles