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Gov’t, CPP consult in Surigao del Sur NPA base

Karlos Manlupig

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Gov’t, CPP consult in Surigao del Sur NPA base
Coinciding with the 46th anniversary of the re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the occasion is also an opportunity to turn over socio-economic proposals to NDF and government representatives

SURIGAO DEL SUR, Philippines – Thousands of members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, National Democratic Front (NDF), New People’s Army, local government units, church groups and people’s organizations, gathered in a clearing Friday, December 27, somewhere in the mountains of Surigao del Sur for a Mindanao-wide consultation on the stalled talks between communists and the government.

Coinciding with the 46th anniversary of the re-establishment of the CPP, the occasion was taken as an opportunity to turn over socio-economic recommendations by the organizations to NDF peace panel member Fidel Agcaoili and government of the Philippines (GPH) representative Hernani Braganza.

The Mindanao People’s Peace Agenda includes the implementation of genuine agrarian reform, national industrialization, labor rights, social welfare, rights of national minorities, progressive culture, foreign relations based on sovereignty, mutual respect and independence, and equitable resource allocation for Mindanao from the national budget.

Addressing the crowd, Agcaoili said the peace agenda which he received will be reviewed by the NDF panel and will be included if ever the negotiations resume again.

On Friday, December 26, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) announced there are “ongoing peace negotiations” with the Aquino government.

The NDF said the peace agenda will help in strengthening the party’s draft of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (Caser).

In The Hague Joint Declaration in 1992, both parties agreed to tackle substantive agenda, including human rights and international humanitarian law, socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

In March 1998, both parties signed the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

The government and the NDF had already started formulating their drafts for the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (Caser) but have not made progress since the talks collapsed.

Among the leaders who joined the consultation were Surigao del Sur Vice Governor Manuel Alameda, representatives sent by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, town representatives, Bayan Muna representative Carlos Zarate, former Bayan Muna representative Joel Virador, and barangay officials. 

Address root causes

Meanwhile, the 66-year-old Jorge “Ka Oris”, Mindanao spokesman of the NDF, said he does not think he will be able to witness the end of the peace talks in his lifetime.

Madlos said the government must be more sincere in engaging in the negotiations to address the root causes of the conflict.

Despite the stalled talks and the increasing presence of government forces in Mindanao, Madlos claimed that the revolutionary movement is “expanding and gaining strength” in the island.

“In armed struggle, we have maintained the 46 guerrilla fronts despite the relentless fascist attacks by the AFP which has now more than 55 infantry battalions engaged in counter-revolutionary suppression campaigns in Mindanao. No one front was destroyed by the enemy,” Madlos said.

The communist leader also said the movement has already organized millions in majority of the provinces in Mindanao, which has existing organs of the people’s political power or people’s government.

“The tactical offensives by the NPA totaled to more than 300 and confiscated hundreds of firearms of various types and inflicted casualties of more than a battalion of regular enemy troops and paramilitary forces while the NPA suffered casualties of a few Red fighters,” Madlos said.

Meanwhile, the participants, including the media, were held several times by the scout rangers without any reason despite the declared suspension of military operations.

A scout ranger who refused to give his identity repeatedly intimidated members of the press and told them they would be allowed to leave the area but should relay the message of their battalion commander he is sending his regards to one of the communist leaders.

The CPP is leading one of the longest running communist movements in Asia. –


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