Success of peace talks hinges on shoulders of Aquino regime — CPP

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the success or failure of the peace negotiations hinges on the Aquino regime. The CPP issued the statement in reaction to previous statements by the Philippine governments’ chief negotiator Alex Padilla questioning the sincerity of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in achieving a political settlement to the raging civil war.

The CPP said further that Padilla’s insistence on setting a three-year timetable for the completion of negotiations with the NDFP “is detrimental to the peace negotiations as it only makes peace negotiations subject to sabotage operations by militarist forces who are determiend to scuttle the talks in order to justify the continuing all-out war being waged under the military’s Oplan Bayanihan.”

Padilla declared yesterday that he will resign as negotiator if a peace agreement is not reached in three years. The CPP said “Padilla is being grossly unstatesmanly when he prejudges the failure of the talks and prematurely accuses the NDFP of being uninterested in a political settlement.”

“Instead of issuing statements that unduly cause stress to the peace negotiations, Padilla should concentrate on seeking solutions to the outstanding issues at the core of the civil war: land reform and national sovereignty, massive unemployment, widespread poverty and hunger,” added the CPP.

“The fundamental questions of peace are, in fact, directed at the ruling Aquino regime,” said the CPP. The CPP put forward the following “as among the more crucial questions of peace which the Aquino regime must respond to:”

  1. Is the Aquino regime interested in land reform in order to liberate the majority peasant population from rural backwardness and poverty?

  2. Is it interested in achievig national industrialization to promote local production and resolve chronic mass unemployment?

  3. Is it ready to defend economic sovereignty and oppose the plunder of the local economy by big foreign companies who ruin the environment and subject Filipino workers to extreme exploitation?

  4. Is it willing to promote the democratic rights of the people and achieve justice by prosecuting and punishing military and security officials who have committed grave violations and crimes against humanity?

  5. Is it willing to empower the people by providing them with significant representation in a coalition government?

The CPP further pointed out that if the Philippine government wants to achieve a quick resolution of the armed conflict, “it should seriously consider the draft of the Concise Agreement for an Immediate Just Peace" put forward by the NDFP in 2005 where it offers cooperative relations within a coalition government that would work for national independence and social justice.”