On anniversary, communists want peace more than ever | Inquirer News

On anniversary, communists want peace more than ever

/ 03:22 AM April 29, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–The road to a “just and lasting peace” is long, and after 42 years the revolutionary struggle goes on, according to National Democratic Front (NDF) peace panel member Coni Ledesma.

The NDF is determined to push through with the “on again, off again” peace negotiations with the government “because agreements signed and complied with will make a difference in the lives of the Filipino people,” Ledesma said in a speech during the NDF’s 42nd anniversary celebration last Saturday.

Founded on April 24, 1973, the NDF envisions a sovereign Philippines free from imperialism with “our people free from exploitation and oppression by the domestic ruling classes of compradors and landlords and their monopoly capitalist masters,” Ledesma said.


The nation will have “just and lasting peace… when the leaders are not corrupt but truly serve the people,” she added.


Under this vision, peasants would own the land they till and national industrialization will be “put into full play for a comprehensive, well-balanced economic development.”

Last week, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang expressed support for the resumption of the peace talks.

But Catapang said the NDF, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), must show their sincerity by stopping their criminal activities like abductions, killings, extortion and bombings.

A positive sign

NDF peace panel chair Luis Jalandoni, Ledesma’s husband, said Catapang’s support was a “positive” sign but he denied the CPP-NPA-NDF committed atrocities.

“We are only fighting for the rights of the people and are very disciplined in observing human rights and international humanitarian law,” Jalandoni said in an interview after the celebration.


The anniversary also saw the launch of the book “Louie Jalandoni: Revolutionary,” a 172-page illustrated biography about a “happy-go-lucky” young man who left the priesthood to take up the cudgels for the oppressed.

Book author Ina Silverio wrote that Jalandoni is someone who does not stand out in a crowd “until he begins to speak and take action.”

“Louie has an unwavering belief in the correctness of the Filipino people’s war against oppression,” she said.

Jalandoni, who belongs to sugar aristocracy in Negros, sold 85 hectares he inherited and built houses, a clinic, a school and set up a scholarship fund for the farmers, Silverio said.

But he was a difficult subject to write about because he would rather talk about the greatness, courage and creativity of others rather than himself, she said in an interview.

At the book launch, Jalandoni said his life was inspired by great people including the youth and students who “helped in politicalizing me.”

They were the first to discuss with him CPP founding chair Jose Ma. Sison’s “Philippine Society and Revolution,” Jalandoni said during the book launch.

“The youth played a big role in pushing for change in society from the early 1960s and the First Quarter Storm in the 1970s and they continue to make a difference today,” he said.

Silverio said they decided to heavily illustrate the biography because “primarily, I want young Filipinos to read it.”

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“Many Filipinos do not know who Ka Louie is… I want to bring his ideals and his history and culture to the youth,” she said.

TAGS: Books, Coni Ledesma, NDF, peace process

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