Bandillo: Proclamation 360

By RANDY FELIX P. MALAYAO
www.nordis.net

“Ayaw ko na talagang makipag-usap sa NPA. Sabi ko, giyera na lang.…Wina-warningan ko sila, nandiyan yung TV: I will no longer recognize them as an entity negotiating with government. I will simply declare you all terrorists. Terorista kayo. At „yung mga legal fronts ninyo, alam ko… Wag nalang tayo magbolahan, galing ako diyan eh.”

Thus declared President Duterte before the Special Forces Regiment – Airborne Covered Court, Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija on 22 November 2017. 

“You are helping each other conspiring to topple or whatever, to sow terror. We will treat you as a criminal, period. And we will arrest everybody connected with yung mga legal fronts nila. Mag-demanda na kayo, mag-revolution kayo o anong gawain niyo, wala akong pakialam,” Duterte furthered, announcing virtual wanton crackdown on progressive organizations.

“Basta ibalik ko kayo as the terrorist group. Ang America kasi labeled them as “terrorist” eh. Dahil yung pinatay nila si — JUSMAG.”  finally, Duterte admitting puppetry to US’ dictates.

On November 23, the government issued Proclamation 360,  terminating all existing talks with the revolutionary CPP-NPA-NDF.

Duterte first declared the termination of talks on February 4, 2017, saying he considered the NPA as terrorists because they “were killing his soldiers” and violated their own unilateral ceasefire.

The peace talks resumed in April 2017, only to break down again in May. The fifth round of peace talks were supposed to resume in August 2017, but Duterte ordered a stop to negotiations.

Discreet talks

Now it can be told. Since August, GRP and NDFP Panel members, have been holding informal back-channel meetings to salvage the stalled peace talks. No media releases. No fanfare.

On the 1st week of October, both parties agreed to resume peace talks before the year ends. Talks will focus on general amnesty for political prisoners, socio-economic reforms, and coordinated unilateral ceasefire.

The general amnesty is in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the joint statements during the various rounds.

Under Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), Part I Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) and Part II National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED) shall be approved.

Coordinated unilateral ceasefires (CUC) refers to a stand down type of ceasefire to be implemented from the fifth to the sixth round of formal talks in January 2018.

NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison chided Duterte for violating the 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.

Squandered gains

The unprecedented gains in forging agreements on urgently needed socio-economic reforms to alleviate mass poverty and resolve the roots of the armed conflict have been effectively squandered.

Initialled documents on agrarian reform and rural development, and on national industrialization and economic development, now shelved.

Parties were all ready to further improve the common drafts on November 22 and 23 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. These were slated to be discussed and approved in the fifth round of formal talks in Oslo on November 25 to 27, 2017. But these formal meetings will no longer be convened.

Negotiations on the Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (CAPCR) that would begin in the sixth round and be completed anytime between March and May of 2018 on time for possible revisions of the 1987 Constitution of GRP are no longer feasible.

Joma declares that Duterte unwittingly exposed his scarce, shallow and defective knowledge of the peace process such as the following:

1. The alleged recent incidents in the armed conflict which Duterte used as false basis for slandering the revolutionary forces and threatening the termination of the peace negotiations and the outlawing of the revolutionary forces and legal democratic forces as terrorists.

2. In the absence of ceasefire between the GRP and NDFP, Duterte, through his Negotiating Panel should have submitted his complaints to the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) under CARHRIHL.

3. The NDFP has always submitted to the JMC its complaints of HR and IHL violations committed by the AFP and PNP 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.

Meanwhile, the NDFP has yet to receive an official communication from the government. Formal negotiations are considered terminated 30 days after either party had sent a letter of notice. # nordis.net

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