Latest Stories

Gov’t negotiator insists talks with rebels should be preceded by ceasefire


MANILA, Philippines—While both the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines acknowledge that the attack on Gingoog Mayor Ruthie Guingona has highlighted the need for the resumption of peace talks, a return to the negotiating table by the two parties appears to be farfetched for now.

Government chief negotiator Alexander Padilla said Saturday that the Aquino administration remains open to resuming the peace talks with the communists but only if the process is “time bound and agenda bound with no preconditions.”

In addition, Padilla said in a telephone interview, “there should be a cessation of hostilities that could be independently monitored by civil society and church groups.”

Padilla stressed the need for a ceasefire before returning to the negotiating table because without it, “violence will continue, nothing will change.”

“I hope the public understands we cannot return to the talks just for the sake of talking and continue all the violence again. That would be just fooling the public,” he said.

In an e-mail to the Inquirer, Luis Jalandoni, chief negotiator for the communist-led National Democratic Front, said that his panel has informed Norwegian Special Envoy Ture Lundh, who is facilitating meetings between the two sides, “that we are willing to move the peace talks forward.”

Jalandoni said his panel “actually offered truce and cooperation” to the government, noting that a truce was even “much longer than a ceasefire.”

“But the truce and cooperation should be the result of a declaration of common intent upholding national sovereignty, land reform and national industrialization, among others,” he said. “Furthermore, we are demanding that obligations arising from agreements previously signed like the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the CARHRIHL be respected.”

“By the way,” he added, “these are not preconditions, but obligations arising from a mutually agreed bilateral and binding peace agreement.”

But these are exactly the points that the government panel is wary of, particularly the demand of the CPP-NPA-NDF to release “consultants” who have been arrested and detained by the government.

Padilla said for one, the government refuses to release any more “detained consultants” because those who have been released earlier have “gone back to the hills.”

“So we even refused to collaborate on that level that we will release them and then they would return to the underground movement,” he said.

Padilla also described as “preposterous” the CPP-NPA-NDF demand for the government to stop its socio-economic development programs for the people such as the Pamana, the Conditional Cash Transfer, and Oplan Bayanihan.

“To them, these development programs are counterinsurgency programs,” Padilla said.

The Philippines has what is now the world’s longest running communist insurgency problem, which dates back to soon after the end of World War II. The government and the CPP-NPA-NDF have been trying to negotiate for peace for the past 25 years but Padilla himself said this “has gone nowhere.”

After a stalled “regular track” in the peace negotiations, the two panels tried to talk through a “special track,” which Padilla said the CPP-NPA-NDF themselves had proposed.

Initially meeting in December last year in the Netherlands, both panels agreed to discuss a draft Declaration of National Unity and Just Peace prepared by Jose Ma. Sison, founder of the CCP, which replaced the old Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas in the late 60’s.

At their next meeting last February, according to Padilla,  the NDF “proposed three new documents” instead of discussing the Sison draft.

He said the new documents “backtracked from their original position on a Draft Declaration, particularly on ceasefire, which they now subjected to preconditions.”

“They also reverted to the prolonged and untenable process of the Regular Track,” Padilla said.

“Joma Sison practically declared the special track dead when he reintroduced (the) three separate documents that were miles away from what we originally talked about,” he added.

For the talks to move forward, Padilla said, the negotiations should be “under a new atmosphere or a new environment whereby they will actually listen and talk to us on an even level.”

Asked how he thought the talks could move forward, Jalandoni said: “If there is the political will, there will be a way to move forward. But the GPH team wanted indefinite, simultaneous and unilateral ceasefires without the upholding of national sovereignty, land reform and national industrialization.”

Jalandoni said his panel panel also gave the government team “two drafts they can study and consider.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: NDF , New People's Army , NPA , Peace Talks

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • PNP chief on plunder raps: ‘Amateurish’
  • Makati readies 12-month traffic plan for Skyway 3
  • Heard on Radyo Inquirer 990AM
  • Did you know
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces, force do-or-die tiff
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Honda upgrades PH plant
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace