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Aquino ‘killed’ talks–Sison


LUCENA CITY—Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison has accused President Aquino of being responsible for the “death”  of the peace talks with the communist insurgents.

“He allowed OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process) and Secretary Teresita Deles to obstruct and practically kill the peace negotiations, whether it is the special track or the regular track,” Sison said in an email interview on Thursday.

Sison called the Aquino administration “dishonest” for saying that the peace negotiations had already been terminated.

He insisted the peace talks was not yet officially dead. For the termination of the peace talks to be effective, it should follow the process as agreed upon by both parties, he said.

Longest rebellion

“It (Aquino administration) claims to have already terminated the peace negotiations. But it has not sent to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) any written notice of termination, which takes effect 30 days after receipt by the NDFP,” Sison  said.

The NDFP is the political arm of the CPP. Its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), has been waging war against the government for more than 40 years, considered as the world’s longest-running communist rebellion.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, quoting Deles, said the other day that the talks with the communist insurgents were dead, and blamed the NDFP, which is representing the CPP in the talks, for having “killed” the negotiations with its preconditions and demands.

Deles said the government was pursuing discussions to resume the negotiations using a new approach, generally taken to mean as the so-called “localized peace talks.”

Luis Jalandoni, head of the NDFP panel, disputed the government claim that the negotiations had reached a dead end.

He reiterated that the government had not given the NDFP any written notice of termination of the peace talks.

Termination process

He said the termination process is stipulated in the joint agreement on safety and immunity guarantees (Jasig) signed by the two sides in 1995.

He said it was not true as the government claimed that the Norwegian special envoy Ture  Lundh, the official third-party facilitator, had been informed of the  government decision to stop the peace talks.

He quoted an April 30 email from Lundh stating that the Philippine government “neither officially nor unofficially informed me of any termination of peace negotiations with the NDFP.”

According to Sison, the government has long paralyzed the regular track in the peace negotiations, declaring The Hague joint declaration as a document of perpetual division and the Jasig as “inoperative and useless in protecting NDFP consultants, staff, security officers and others.”

“The [government] has deliberately refused to comply with its commitments in agreements forged with the NDF, despite the full knowledge that compliance would immediately break the impasse and cause the resumption of the formal talks,” he said.

He said the government wanted “nothing but the pacification and capitulation of the revolutionary forces of the Filipino people through indefinite unilateral ceasefires without the basic reforms required by The Hague joint declaration and subsequent agreements.”

Sison and Jalandoni assailed the government resurrection of the “localized peace talk” as the new approach to negotiations.

Sison said the central organs of the CPP/NDF/NPA do not allow any localized peace talks “because such would fragment the highly unified revolutionary movement.”

“But what the Aquino regime, the OPAPP and the military can do is to fake localized peace talks with the use of military assets,” he said.

“No organs of the CPP, NPA and NDFP would negotiate with a regime that does not know how to respect solemn agreements,” he said.

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Tags: Benigno Aquino III , Jose Maria Sison , Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process , Peace Talks , Secretary Teresita Deles

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