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Interim Peace Agreement

PEACE HAWKS LIE, Here’s Why

in Editorial
by Pinky Ang

The on again off again peace negotiations—scuttled by the Duterte regime—can still be saved if the people correct and debunk all the misinformation being lobbed against it by the militarists, the peace spoilers, and hawkish officials of the Duterte regime.

The following so far are some of the plain truth and observable reality on the ground which peace spoilers try so hard to deny or, failing there, to vilify and demonize. Feel free to add.

THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT AND TERRITORIES IN GUERRILLA FRONTS EXIST

The guerrilla fronts have expanded to about a hundred amid the continuing intensified militarization topped by increased use of civilian bureaucracy for waging war against the people. The simplest response to government or militarist denial of the existence of the people’s democratic government is: if they don’t exist, why is the Philippine government bothering with costly militarization and this disgraceful (to them) disinformation campaign?

The people’s democratic government continues to advance land reform, revolutionary justice, defense of human and natural resources for national industrialization. The government of the Republic of the Philippines and its mercenary troops know and confirm this every time they present their faked or forced surrenderers (mostly civilian farmers or government soldier pretending to be a rebel); when they order local government to declare the Communist Party and the New People’s Army as persona non grata; or when they rail against revolutionary taxation or village militias flexing muscles to defend themselves.

The Duterte regime and the militarists precisely know the existence of guerrilla fronts and people’s democratic government as they vainly try to trap them in localized peace talks. They have long failed to appreciate that the rebels aren’t as corruptible as the AFP or PNP generals. Or that the revolutionary movement continues to expand despite or because of sufferings the military and the plunderers inflict on the people.

THE FILIPINO PEOPLE AND DUTERTE NEED THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS THE MOST

The Duterte regime is now weighed down by the sheer amount of blood shed because of his dirty wars against the poor. Meanwhile, no amount of magic in official statistics can hide that the economy is not as good as it projects, and that the majority of the Filipinos are worse off.

Now in his lameduck years in Malacañang, Duterte can’t fail to notice that even his highest military subordinates (Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., Delfin Lorenzana, Eduardo Año, Carlito Galvez, and Filemon Santos, Jr.) have so publicly opposed his intent to resume peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP. Instead of addressing the roots of the armed conflict to ready the ground for peace, these military subordinates want to continue their military rampage, as well as the drive to place the government and society under military rule through Executive Order No. 70.

Unfortunately for Duterte, he is the commander-in-chief to be tried for his accountability to war crimes, and his regime is what’s on the line for history’s reckoning. His military subordinates, meanwhile, have rampaged and butchered up till their retirement from the AFP. Yet they still failed to bring down the revolutionaries through the years, through failed deadlines, under different presidents.

It doesn’t need rocket science to grasp that the Philippine government cannot win the war by military solution alone. The peace talks and the attempt to address the roots of armed conflict promise to do the job with better satisfaction from majority of the Filipinos.

THE FILIPINO PEOPLE DEMANDS SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC REFORMS

The way Duterte’s recycled generals and hawkish officials speak, you’d think the Filipinos live already in an industrial paradise, without social injustices, without worsening unemployment, low incomes and rampant poverty. Of course these exist only in their brags and baseless beliefs. The Philippine economy stands only propped up by a bloated unproductive services sector, overseas remittances, and debt. It begs for scraps from foreign investments who take away more from the country than what they bring in.
The country’s agriculture and industry have steadily declined no thanks to the past and present government’s neoliberal policies. The draft Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), up for completion and approval in the negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP should the peace talks resume, seek to resolve these problems plaguing our productive sectors.

THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS HAVE MADE UNPRECEDENTED PROGRESS BUT SPOILERS AND MILITARISTS ALWAYS SEEK TO SABOTAGE IT

The peace talks that started in 2016 have progressed in fleshing out the CASER, the meat of the peace negotiations. It used to exist as two different drafts of the negotiating panels. Before talks were halted in 2018, the four formal rounds of peace talks abroad and seven meetings in the Philippines had produced a common outline and substantial drafts on two of the most important sections of CASER: Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) and National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED). These two alone can give vast benefits for tens of millions of Filipinos and the cause of national development.

The peace talks give the public an opportunity to better understand CASER—and that is why the militarists seek to stop it at all cost. They will be thoroughly exposed not only as peace saboteurs but as agents of enemies of the Filipino people.

DRAFTS AND AGREED UPON RESULTS OF PEACE TALKS ARE PRODUCTS OF NEGOTIATIONS AND KEEN CONSULTATIONS WITH THE PEOPLE

Whatever common drafts have been mutually agreed upon and prepared by the negotiating parties and their working groups, these were discussed and to be approved by the NDFP and GRP negotiating panels. These are no secret nor unilateral impositions—things the militarists have been known of hatching up. With regard to the NDFP proposals, these are reflection not only of the people’s desire but of the developments in the guerrilla zones. The drafts were widely disseminated and still being disseminated and discussed in guerrilla zones; and also being updated as the years go by.

The common drafts on social and economic reforms also show that it is possible for the GRP and the NDFP to set aside ideological differences and unite on concrete steps for the common cause of real economic progress for the nation.

With the people’s resolve to push for just and lasting peace, the militarists and peace spoilers, who have failed so spectacularly at bringing about peace, will not succeed at sabotaging again the peace negotiations. ###

#ResumeTalks
#SignCASER
#JustPeace

—–
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DUTERTE REGIME GOES DOWNHILL AS REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT RISES

in Statements

by Jose Maria Sison

Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
December 26, 2019

In keeping with my historic title as Founding Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, I convey my warmest revolutionary greetings to the cadres and members for continuing to strengthen their great and glorious party as the advanced detachment of the working class and as leader of the Filipino people and all revolutionary forces in the struggle for national and social liberation along the general line of new democratic revolution with a socialist perspective.

I salute you for your achievements in responding to the demands of the people for revolutionary change against the rotten semicolonial and semifeudal system dominated by foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. Like you, I honor most highly all the revolutionary martyrs and heroes of the CPP and the revolutionary mass movement for all their efforts and sacrifices in order to realize the accumulated and current victories in the struggle for national independence and democracy.

This is a time for you to celebrate your struggles, sacrifices and successes, to examine the objective conditions in the Philippines, the worsening crisis and the opportunities it presents, sum up your experiences and learn from positive and negative lessons, base yourselves on the strength that you have achieved and set forth the tasks and goals that you wish to realize in the ideological, political and organizational fields.

WORSENING CRISIS OF THE RULING SYSTEM

The objective conditions are exceedingly favorable for advancing the people’s democratic revolution because the traitorous, tyrannical, murderous, corrupt and deceptive Duterte regime has aggravated the chronic crisis of the ruling system by escalating the oppression and exploitation of the people and driving them to wage people’s war and all forms of resistance.

More than ever the regime has worsened the conditions of underdevelopment, high unemployment, low incomes, soaring prices of basic commodities and mass poverty. It has further bankrupted the economy by shunning land reform and national industrialization, increasing import-dependent consumption and rapidly making the local and foreign debt burden and tax burden of the people intolerably heavier.

Worst of all, colossal amounts of public funds are wasted on bureaucratic and military corruption and on futile schemes to destroy the revolutionary movement and impose a fascist dictatorship on the people. It is apt to describe the regime of state terrorism and unbridled greed as unwittingly the best recruiter of CPP members, Red fighters and other revolutionaries. It is also the best transport and supply officer of the New People’s Army for sending its troops for annihilation on terrain advantageous to guerrilla warfare.

Since he became president in 2016, Duterte has been obsessed with seeking to destroy the revolutionary movement in order to please US imperialism and the local reactionary classes. At first, he claimed to be “Left” and “socialist” and pretended to be for peace negotiations. But he used these pretenses only to cover up his all-out war against the people and the revolutionary forces in the countryside and further launch in the name of rabid anti-communism the series of repressive measures, especiallyProclamations Nos. 360 and 374 to Executive Order No. 70.

The regime has used the most brutal and deceptive methods to impose a de facto fascist dictatorship on the entire nation and undisguised martial rule in Mindanao and in so-called focus areas of attacks. Deviously named the whole-nation approach, the scheme to militarize and make fascist the entire government and society is totally and extremely counterproductive and costly. The broad masses of the people detest the systematic and gross violations of human rights through red tagging, fake surrenders, fake encounters, extrajudicial killings, looting, arson, bombing of communities and grabbing of land and resources for plantations, mining and logging.

All efforts of the Duterte regime to destroy the CPP and the revolutionary mass movement have failed. Thus, out of desperation, he offered once more peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on December 5. Within 24 hours, he and his military and police officers exposed their own evil intentions by demanding that the peace negotiations be held in the Philippines and that the NDFP negotiating personnel put themselves under enemy duress, control and surveillance and make themselves available for slaughter at any time.

Nonetheless, the people’s demand for a just peace, the clamor of peace advocates for for peace negotiations and the willingness of the anti-militarist section of the Duterte regime support the consistent stand of the CPP and the NDFP to be open to peace negotiations and to seek all possible ways to counter the rampant violations of human rights and to propagate the people’s demand for basic social, economic and political reforms. Thus, the NDFP has agreed with the GRP to engage in reciprocal unilateral ceasefires from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020 in order to foster the environment favorable to the resumption of peace negotiations.

The resumption of the peace negotiations can be realized by reaffirming the mutual agreements since the Hague Joint Declaration of 1992, by superceding the presidential issuances that previously terminated and prevented peace negotiations and by laying the ground for the Interim Peace Agreement, which is a package of agreements involving the 1) general amnesty and release of all political prisoners; 2) the approval of articles of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), particularly those on agrarian reform and rural development and national industrialization and economic development; and 3) coordinated unilateral ceasefires.

Notwithstanding the current ceasefire agreement and the probability of resuming the peace negotiations, the CPP and the entire revolutionary movement need to be vigilant and militant against the continuing scheme of the counter-revolutionaries and their imperialist masters whoseek in vain either the destruction or capitulation of the revolutionary forces at the expense of the national and democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people. So long as there is yet no final agreement that ensures a just peace, the people and their revolutionary forces have all the right to wage revolutionary struggle.

THE GROWING STRENGTH OF THE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT

The CPP and revolutionary mass movement are invincible. They have been tempered by more than 50 years of revolutionary struggle against the ruling system and all the strategic plans devised by US imperialism and their Filipino puppets to destroy them. They keep on growing because the objective conditions for waging armed revolution are increasingly favorable and the broad masses of the people demand revolutionary change. On the basis of the CPP publications, I am well aware that the CPP is resolutely and vigorously building itself ideologically, politically and organizationally.

It continuously educates and trains the new recruits and its accumulated membership of tens of thousands in the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. As the leader of the revolutionary movement, it carries out the people’s democratic revolution by skilfully strengthening itself, waging armed struggle and availing of the united front. It conducts mass work and builds the mass organizations of various exploited classes, strata and sectors of Philippine society. It keeps on creating new units of the people’s army and the auxiliary forces of the people’s militia and the self-defense units in mass organizations.

It engages in alliance work by relying mainly on the basic toiling masses of workers and peasants, winning over the middle forces and taking advantage of the splits among the reactionaries in order to isolate and destroy the power of the enemy. At the moment, the Duterte regime is encircled by the legal democratic movement, the revolutionary movement and by the intrasystemic conservative opposition. As the reactionary government is corrupt, bankrupt and decadent, the CPP creates the organs of democratic political power to displace the power of the reactionary state in the countryside until conditions are ripe for the seizure of the cities dominated by the exploiting classes.

In the course of its ideological, political and organizational work, the CPP engages in criticism and self-criticism in order to correct errors and shortcomings in a timely and periodic manner, to improve work and style of work and achieve bigger and better results. In the course of the current rectification movement and for an extended period, it is solving the problem of conservatism which has overemphasized mass work at the expense of launching tactical offensives in certain areas and which has been characterized by overdispersal of full-time small units (squads and teams) of the people’s army.

The CPP is ensuring that in a guerrilla front the command platoon or main unit of a company is relatively concentrated and capable of collecting actionable information, planning and carrying out tactical offensives; and two other platoons or secondary units are relatively dispersed for mass work but prepared for tactical offensives whenever necessary. The NPA personnel are rotated periodically for combat and other non-combat tasks in order to develop their skills in a well-rounded way. In the face of enemy onslaughts, NPA combat units are oriented to seize the initiative and wage offensive operations to annihilate enemy units, destroy their facilities and force them to guard duty.

In the finest communist and patriotic tradition, the stronger regions of the revolutionary movement are sharing competent and battle-tested cadres and Red commanders and fighters to help strengthen weaker regions and raise higherthe overall fighting capacity of the entire revolutionary movement. The revolutionary forces under concentrated attacks by their enemy are faring well with the employment of major and minor tactics of guerrilla warfare and are developing the strategy and tactics of counter-encirclement. Those forces under relatively less concentrated enemy attacks are doing their best to launch tactical offensives by way of helping those under more concentrated attacks.

In response to the expectations of the Filipino people, the CPP is determined to lead the NPA in bringing about the full development of the strategic defensive of the people’s war, from the middle phase to the advanced phase, through extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare. The regional leading organs of the CPP are developing the coordination and interoperability of two or three neighboring guerrilla fronts for the purpose of defense and offense. The entire CPP is ever determined to create new guerrilla fronts by winning battles and campaigns in the direction of developing more NPA companies and reaching eventually the stage of the strategic stalemate.

The worsening crisis of the ruling system and the people’s hatred of the Duterte reign of terror and greed make it impossible for the coercive and deceptive instruments of the state to know and suppress all the revolutionary forces and their activities. The evil agents of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism are weighed down by their own brutality and corruption. The more violent and intimidating they become the more they goad the people to wage all forms of resistance.

The Duterte regime is going downhill to hell and cannot find enough relief from its imperialist masters to overcome the rising revolutionary movement of the Filipino people. Despite being able to retain overall dominance over the Philippines, the US is increasingly looking at Duterte as more of a liability than an asset as he fails to fulfill his pledge to destroy the revolutionary movement and as he allows China to gain advantages that prejudice the economic and security interests of the US in the Philippines.

At the same time, while pressuring the Duterte regime to do a more flagrant surrender of Philippine sovereign rights, China has not promptly complied with its promises to deliver extremely onerous loans and overpriced infrastructure projects, despite the already treasonous waiver of Philippine sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea and the rich oil, gas and marine resources under it as well as the lopsided agreement for China to explore and exploit energy resources and monopolize the valuation of the costs and the information on production.

WORSENING CRISIS OF THE WORLD CAPITALIST SYSTEM

The world capitalist system is in grave crisis. The major capitalist economies, the so-called emerging markets and the many underdeveloped economies have become depressed since the economic and financial crash of 2008. The strategic decline of the US has accelerated because of the costly ceaseless wars of aggression and the bankruptcy of the neoliberal economic policy. The US has become blatantly protectionist and blames China’s state monopoly capitalism for enjoying large export surpluses in trade with the US and using state-owned enterprises and state planning to be able totake advantage of the economic, trade and technological concessions from the US in achieving strategic economic and security goals.

The main partners in neoliberal globalization for several decades are now at odds with each other. Their conflicts are the main feature of the intensifying inter-imperialist contradictions. They arise at a time that the US is made desperate by its own strategic decline but is still in a position to expose China’s sitting on a mountain of bad debts and to upset and sabotage China’s accumulation of surplus capital for imperialist deployment through the Belt and Road Initiative. We can expect more conflicts to come from the two imperialist powers over the Philippines, the South China Sea, East Asia and in other regions of the world.

The rapidly worsening crisis of the world capitalist system is causing the intensification of inter-imperialist contradictions. The traditional imperialist powers headed by the US and the new imperialist powers headed by China and Russia are now locked in a bitter struggle for a redivision of the world. At the same time, the crisis has resulted in the escalation of the exploitation and oppression of the proletariat people both in the advanced capitalist countries and underdeveloped countries. Thus, we see today the unprecedented spread and intensity of mass protests on a global scale, especially against neoliberalism and fascism. The current mass protests are harbingers of greater struggles of the people of the world for national liberation, democracy and socialism against imperialism and all reactions.

Quite a number of the unarmed mass movements have the potential of being transformed into people’s war to address the central question of political power in the face of the growing propensity of the imperialists and reactionaries to use fascist terror to be able continue the extreme forms of exploitation under neoliberalism. The Philippine revolution is favored by the worldwide rise of popular resistance against imperialism and reaction. Consequently, it can accelerate its advance and further strengthen its role as torch-bearer of the world anti-imperialist and proletarian-socialist revolution.

Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Long live the people’s democratic revolution with socialist perspective!
Long live the Filipino proletariat and people!
Long live the proletariat and peoples of the world!
Long live proletarian internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity of peoples!

#CPP51
#ServeThePeople
#HanggangSaTagumpay
#JoinTheNPA
#JoinTheParty
#FightDictatorship
#Padayon2020

—–
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CONTEXT AND PREMISES OF THE CPP DECLARATION OF CEASEFIRE (December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020)

in Statements
https://shorturl.at/nrJ36

Upon the recommendation of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines declares to all commands and units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the people’s militias a nationwide ceasefire order that will take effect from 00:00H of 23 December 2019 to 23:59H of 7 January 2020.

This ceasefire order is being issued simultaneously with and shall be effective upon the corresponding and reciprocal ceasefire orders in the form of Suspension of Military Operations (SOMO) and Suspension of Police Operations (SOPO) to be issued by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) as a gesture of goodwill and confidence building measure.

The purpose of the reciprocal and unilateral ceasefires is to generate a positive atmosphere conducive to the holding of informal talks preparatory to the resumption of the formal peace talks. The ceasefire order is being issued in solidarity with the traditional celebrations of Christmas and New Year holidays.

During the ceasefire period, all NPA units and people’s militias shall cease and desist from carrying out offensive military operations against the armed units and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other paramilitary and armed groups attached to the GRP.

Personnel of the AFP and PNP who have no serious liabilities other than their membership in their armed units shall not be subjected to arrest or punitive actions. They may be allowed individually to enter the territory of the people’s democratic government to make personal visits to relatives and friends.

All units of the NPA and the people’s militias shall be on defensive mode at both the strategic and tactical levels. They shall nonetheless maintain a high degree of militancy and vigilance against any hostile actions or movements of the enemy armed forces, including encroachment on the territory of the people’s democratic government, surveillance and other offensive operations including so-called “peace and development”, civil-military” or “peace and order”operations. Active-defense operations shall be undertaken only in the face of clear and imminent danger and actual armed attack by the enemy forces.

All branches and committees of the CPP, units of the NPA and people’s militias and revolutionary mass organizations should closely monitor any hostile actions being carried out by the enemy armed forces. Such information should be reported to the concerned commands of the New People’s Army and leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Copy Furnished:

National Council
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

#JustPeace
#SignCASER

—–
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On Political, Legal, and Security Requirements for the Venue of GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations

in Statements
Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
December 11. 2019

The standing agreement between the GRP and the NDFP enshrined in the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) is to hold GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in a foreign neutral venues.

The NDFP cannot trust any “no arrest” declaration from the GRP side unless the repressive issuances and campaigns of Duterte are ended, the political prisoners are amnestied and released, the CASER and a bilateral ceasefire are already in place.

Right now, the Duterte regime cannot gain the trust and confidence of the NDFP while it refuses to carry out goodwill measures, such as the release of sickly and elderly political prisoners on humanitarian grounds and engage in reciprocal unilateral ceasefires during the Christmas season up to the first week of New Year.

The regime still retains a militarist and fascist mentality and behavior. It does not even recognize that it does itself a favor by departing from its national and international standing as mass murderer and from the path of fascist tyranny.

After goodwill measures are carried out, informal meetings can be conducted in a foreign neutral venue in order to prepare the formal meeting to resume the peace negotiations abroad, which will reaffirm the agreements made since 1992 and overcome such repressive measures as Proclamation 360 and 374, Memorandum Order 32 and Executive Order No. 70.

The NDFP cannot submit itself to any situation and process in which it comes under the duress, control and surveillance by the armed minions of Duterte.

The Duterte regime has to prove that it is not merely trying to put the NDFP in a trap in which his armed minions can murder consultants like the late Randy Felix Malayao and arrest them on trumped up charges and with planted firearms like Vicente Ladlad, Rey Casambre, Reynante Gamara, Adel Silva, Alex Birondo, his wife Nona and others in violation of JASIG.

There is hard work ahead for negotiators and consultants in informal and formal meetings for the peace negotiations to move forward. The negotiating panels headed by Secretary Bello and Fidel Agcaoili are conscientious and competent. If there are no disruptions and terminations from Duterte himself as in the past three years, they can do their work effectively and at the proper pace.

Two warring parties are expected by the people and the peace advocates to negotiate peace. It is important to recognize the dangers and pitfalls and to take precautions. It is necessary to fulfill certain political, legal and security requirements.

The NDFP is under no obligation to negotiate with a regime that is already discredited and is running out of time. The revolutionary movement is advancing. But the NDFP is demonstrating to the people in the Philippines and the world that it takes every chance to negotiate even with its enemy and avail of any step possible to move forward towards the goal of just peace.###

#JustPeace
#SignCASER

—–
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