CPP cautious over 18-month peace talks timeframe

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today expressed caution over the 18-month timeframe set for completing the draft comprehensive agreements on the remaining items in peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH, formerly the Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The CPP issued this statement several days after the negotiating panels of the NDFP and GPH agreed to complete the draft agreements in the next 18 months. According to the Joint Statement issued by both panels, the draft Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) may be completed and signed by the Panels in September 2011; the draft Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (CAPCR) may be completed and signed by the Panels in February 2012; and the draft Comprehensive Agreement on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (CAEHDF) may be completed and signed by the Panels in June 2012.

"Let us remind ourselves that the socio-economic problems and political and governance issues at the root of the civil war have been plaguing the people for the past hundred years, especially the systemic and inter-related problems of land monopoly, landlessness, feudal exploitation, rural impoverishment, agrarian economic backwardness and mass unemployment," said the CPP.

"It would be extremely difficult to resolve such deeply rooted problems in a little more than a year. This is especially so in the face of active efforts by antipeace forces to sabotage and derail the talks."

"While we optimistically aim to forge agreements in 18 months, neither side should give up in the event that such objectives are met within the set timeframe," said the CPP. "Giving up after 18 months can only benefit the ultrafascist antipeace forces in the military, defense and police establishments who are eagerly waiting for an excuse to go all-out in their fascist onslaught against the people," added the CPP.

"Even now, these antipeace forces in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) have been relentless in their attacks against the peace process, launching one sabotage job after another."


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