INPS International Network for Philippine Studies

Continuing talks on socio-economic reforms, not impositions of ceasefire, show sincerity in peace talks



Lorenzana and his pro-US and militarist ilk merely want to impose an indefinite ceasefire on the NDFP and not address the root causes of the armed conflict, which lay in the widespread landlessness, joblessness, low wages and contractualization, hunger and poverty being faced by the majority of our people. We dare say: continuing the talks on socio-economic reforms is the paramount proof of sincerity in the peace talks, not the imposition of ceasefire on the other party. It is for this reason that the NDFP has been keen on continuing the talks even as the GRP and its armed forces continue to impose its total war policy against the people through Oplan Kapayapaan, their armed offensives against the revolutionary forces, and on top of these the imposition of martial law in the whole of Mindanao with threats to impose martial law all over the country. The armed conflict can only cease if the people’s demands pertaining to land reform, national industrialization, protection of the environment, free exercise of the people’s economic, social and cultural rights, and economic sovereignty are addressed. [caption id="attachment_6924" align="alignleft" width="418"] Chairs of GRP and NDFP Reciprocal Working Committees on Socioeconomic Reforms exchange documents during the 4th round of formal talks in Noordwijk NL[/caption] The parties’ agreement on free land redistribution, which was arrived at in the fourth round of the peace talks, is a step in the right direction. It should be followed up with more agreements on the proposed socio-economic reforms. Such agreements should not be hampered by unreasonable demands for the NPA to end its tactical offensives without a ceasefire agreement between the GRP and the NDFP. We have been clear in saying that talks can continue even as fighting continues. There is no ceasefire between the GRP and NDFP in the Visayas, even as there the NDFP supports the GRP in fighting the terrorists groups in Mindanao. We say to Commission on Higher Education commissioner and member of the GRP’s Reciprocal Working Panel on Socio-Economic Reforms Prospero de Vera: these are the reasons why the NPA’s tactical offensives continue. We urge De Vera, as befits his position, to join us in calling for the continuation of talks on socio-economic reforms, and to not chorus with pro-US and militarist elements of the government who want this agenda shelved.### REFERENCE: Alan Jazmines Vice-Chairperson, NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms Contact Number: + 63 949 137 7260]]>

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