Revolutionary forces are united behind NDFP in quest for just and lasting peace

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Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) declares that all revolutionary forces under its leadership are fully united behind the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in its quest for a just and lasting peace and the possible revival of formal peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

The Party and the Filipino people welcome the measures of the Duterte government to reopen talks with the NDFP more than two years after it ended talks, imposed martial law in Mindanao and launched an all-out war. It has placed the entire country under de facto martial law rule since last year. The Party is confident that the unilateral ceasefire declarations simultaneously declared by the CPP Central Committee and by Malacañang last December 22 will help set the atmosphere and boost the formal talks. The promised release of the NDFP’s consultants can be effected soon.

The CPP looks forward to the possible reopening of talks in January. The talks can pick up from the agenda left off in 2017. Negotiations on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socioeconomic Reforms (CASER) must immediately resume.

Pressing social problems and inequities such as rising prices of basic commodities, low wages, widespread joblessness, rural displacement, homelessness and so on, continue to incite the toiling masses to take up arms. These problems can be decisively addressed through the CASER and its focus on such cornerstone policies as land reform and national industrialization.

Forging the CASER will be the first decisive step at addressing the roots of the armed conflict and attaining just and lasting peace. We urge the negotiating panels of the NDFP and GRP to exert all effort to accelerate discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socioeconomic Reforms (CASER) and schedule its signing at the soonest possible time. It will serve as a great motivation for the possible homecoming of NDFP Chief Political Consultant Prof. Jose Ma. Sison.

The GRP and the NDFP are expected to agree on issues as genuine land reform and national industrialization as key measures to resolve the seething socioeconomic crisis.

With the NDFP ever willing and open to discuss and resolve the roots of the armed conflict through negotiations, the success of peace talks rests mostly on the shoulders of President Duterte.

The Filipino people hope that Duterte has now realized the futility of his militarist approach. For more than two years, he has allowed the AFP to take lead in trying to resolve the armed conflict by waging a relentless all-out war against the New People’s Army (NPA) and a bloody campaign of suppression against the people.

The regime’s approach is being proven counterproductive. Having the deep and wide support of the masses, the NPA is proving itself resilient against the all-out offensives of the AFP. In the first half of this year, more than 250 AFP soldiers were killed in its military offensives in Mindanao alone. Instead of pacifying the people, the AFP’s “surrender” and “persona non grata” drives, marked by killings, arbitrary arrests, threats and intimidation, are fomenting deep and widespread hatred against Duterte and his regime and inciting the people to wage resistance.

Without changing course in his approach to counterinsurgency, Duterte is bound to fail in the last three years of his reign in his declared aim of “ending the local communist armed conflict.” The NPA will remain ever so strong and determined to wage armed resistance in defense of the people’s rights and in pursuit of their national and democratic interests. In the face of pressing social problems and fascist repression, the Filipino people are bound to erupt in mass protests.

The Filipino people must resist the militarist forces who constantly oppose efforts to attain a just and lasting peace through negotiations. These forces are mainly in the AFP and PNP and in the security and defense establishment whose officers are loyal to the US. To them, war is big business. It is dogheaded in waging an endless war against an undefeatable enemy because it ensures steady streams of profit for their war industry and their cohorts in the Philippine military and police.

These forces, led by Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, have publicly opposed the simultaneous unilateral ceasefire declaration issued by their own commander-in-chief. Contrary to the spirit of the 15-day ceasefire, the AFP continues to mass its forces in the areas where the NPA have withdrawn for the duration of the ceasefire in the hope of forcing the NPA to engage in battle to preempt the scheduled talks.

The Party urges all peace advocates to unite and support the scheduled formal talks and help push for the success of peace negotiations. Support the clamor for genuine land reform and national industrialization as key policies to resolve the roots of the armed conflict. Push for the forging of the agreement on socioeconomic reforms. Oppose the militarists and their scheme to sabotage the talks. #

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