MANILA, Philippines—Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison on Friday said that President Rodrigo Duterte “sabotaged the GRP-NDFP peace process.”
Duterte on Thursday signed Proclamation No. 360, officially terminating negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), a day after Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza announced the cancellation of peace talks.
In response to the Proclamation, Sison released a statement telling how Duterte allegedly “sabotaged” the peace process.
“After several months of hard work in unilateral and bilateral meetings, the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels were ready to do a little polishing of common drafts on November 22 and 23 in Utrecht, The Netherlands for finalization in the slated fifth round of formal talks in Oslo on November 25 to 27, 2017,” Sison said.
The common drafts touch on “the general amnesty and release of all political prisoners in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL); the coordinated unilateral ceasefires (CUC) as the advance from a stand down type of ceasefire from the fifth to the sixth round of formal talks in January 2018; and Part I Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) and Part II National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED) of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).”
Sison said that GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels looked forward to the actualization of the drafts in early 2018.
However, Sison said, “Duterte the principal of the GRP Negotiating Panel started on Nov. 18 to rant every day against the CPP, NPA and the NDFP in connection with recent incidents in the armed conflict. He also ranted against the entire peace process until Nov. 23 when he made his Proclamation No. 360 terminating the peace negotiations.”
This, according to Sison, is a violation of “mutual agreement that talks would be discreet until there would be good news to announce at the end of the fifth or sixth round of formal talks.”
‘Unfit to handle peace process’
“In the course of his rants, Duterte unwittingly exposed his scarce, shallow and defective knowledge of the peace process,” Sison said before citing arguments how Duterte is “mentally unfit to handle the complexities of the affairs of his state and the peace process between the GRP and NDFP.”
Sison said Duterte used the alleged recent incidents in the armed conflict as false basis in threatening to terminate the peace negotiations and the outlawing of the revolutionary forces and legal democratic forces as terrorists.
It can be recalled that Dureza on November 22 said that the “recent tragic and violent incidents all over the country committed by the communist rebels” convinced Duterte to end the peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF.
According to the CPP founder, instead of terminating the peace talks, Duterte, through his negotiating panel, should have filed complaints to the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) under CARHRIHL as the NDFP had always submitted to the same channel complaints on the alleged human rights and international humanitarian laws violations committed by government forces under the “ceaseless all-out war policy, Oplan Kapayapaan and martial law in Mindanao.”
“These violations are far worse in scale and severity than those alleged by Duterte against the NPA. And yet NDFP never threatened to terminate the peace negotiations,” Sison said.
Moreover, Sison accused Duterte of spouting “lies” which include the NDFP ignoring the GRP proposal for a stand down agreement prior to the adoption and implementation of the coordinated unilateral ceasefire, and referring to The Netherlands as the facilitator rather than the Royal Norwegian Government.
“There are symptoms that Duterte is mentally unfit to handle the complexities of the affairs of his state and the peace process between the GRP and NDFP,” Sison said. “GRP officials in his Cabinet and the reactionary armed forces should consider whether he is mentally fit for his office or needs to be replaced in accordance with their 1987 Constitution.”
“Among his lucid statements in the course of his rants are those pertaining to his voluntary admission as a fascist in the service of the US (Amboy), his overwhelming desire for killing and war and his advice to the NDFP to negotiate with his successor in due time,” he added.
On the other hand, the Palace’s statement on the termination of the peace process told a different story of the President’s commitment to it.
“He (Duterte) has, in fact, walked the extra mile for peace,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, adding that the President wanted peace to be his legacy.
“Rest assured that he will continuously pray that we may all find the peace that we seek for our beloved country in the fullness of God’s time,” he added.