NDF accuses Aquino peace adviser of sabotaging peace talks
LUCENA CITY, Quezon—The spokesman of the communist-led National Democratic Front on Friday accused Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles of sabotaging the peace talks.
Fidel Agcaoili alleged that Deles wants to permanently end the peace negotiation between the government and the NDF.
“From the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime to the present one of Benigno S. Aquino III, Deles has had one singular aim in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the NDFP – the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary movement,” Agcaoli said in a statement e-mailed from his base in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
He added: “But because she could not get her way, she has been sabotaging the peace talks, even proclaiming the so-called sovereign right of the US to intervene in Philippine affairs in the ‘terrorist’ listing of the CPP, NPA and Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the chief political consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, after coming from a round of negotiations where it was agreed that the two parties would call on the international community ‘to refrain from any action that may impede or impair the peace process’.”
On Monday, Deles accused the NDF, the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, of designing the peace talks as a “protracted and unending process” without conceding anything to the government “after 22 difficult years of trying to achieve peace.”
“There is a need for a ‘new approach’ to the peace negotiations under which the community and other peace stakeholders should play a pivotal role. And on this rests our hope and belief that peace will, sooner than later, reign in our land,” Deles said in a statement posted on the website of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
Agcaoili scoffed at Deles’ claim regarding the communists’ agenda of protracted and unending peace talks and said the allegation was “preposterous.”
“Deles is practically calling as foolish all previous presidents, especially Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada, and her predecessors in the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), especially Ambassador Howard Dee and former Justice Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, for having been ‘hoodwinked’ by the NDFP into signing and approving more than 12 agreements, including The Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL),” Agcaoili said.
Deles’ scheme, claimed the NDF spokesman, “is the reason why the government peace panel refuses to abide by signed agreements” between the two parties.
Agcaoili cited how the government panel called The Hague Joint Declaration, the framework agreement in the peace negotiations, a “divisive” document and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) “inoperative” in securing the release of JASIG-protected persons.
Negotiations between the communist rebels and the government have been stalled since 2004, giving rise to continued human rights violations, according to human rights watchdog Karapatan.
In the two years of the Aquino presidency, Karapatan said it has documented 137 victims of extrajudicial killings, including 14 victims of enforced disappearances, 72 of torture, and 269 of illegal arrest, mostly attributed to state security forces.
A military report on the other hand said nearly 400 people, the majority of them civilians, have been killed in encounters between NPA and government troops and other alleged rebel atrocities since 2011.