Christians for National Liberation: Church’s prophetic witness is to fight for the Filipino people’s interests, path to just peace is addressing the roots of the armed conflict

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The Christians for National Liberation (CNL), the underground revolutionary political organization of Christians and allied member organization of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), welcomes the signing of the Oslo Joint Statement between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) as a first step in the long journey for a just and lasting peace. The Joint Statement seeks to set conditions and a framework for the resumption of peace talks.

The Church’s prophetic witness and service to stand with the poor and oppressed people is to fight for their rights and welfare, and support efforts to bring them needed relief such as social and economic reforms, including—but certainly not limited—through the peace process. CNL supports all efforts that redound to the Filipino people’s interest.

CNL stands with the Filipino masses and upholds its prophetic task amid fascism and injustice as in Micah 6:8: “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Love, mercy, and compassion are in seeking justice for the poor, deprived, and oppressed.

A civil war raging for close to 54 years between co-belligerents—the reactionary US-Marcos II regime and the NDFP demonstrates that the roots of the armed conflict—injustice, oppression, and grinding poverty dating back in history to feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism, and US imperialism remain unaddressed.

The onslaught of neoliberal policies destroying lives and livelihoods of toiling workers, peasants, women, rural and indigenous peoples, and others, and continued subservience to imperialist interests led by the US have brought so much suffering to the Filipino people. These anti-people and anti-democratic policies, implemented through fascist state machinery including the AFP and the NTF-ELCAC, are stumbling blocks to just peace. In the Christian context, these are barriers that prevent people from living lives of dignity and respect as God has designed.

Measure to create favorable conditions to resume the talks are essential, and are not preconditions. We echo the statement by NDFP Interim Peace Panel Chair Julieta de Lima that the participation of the detained NDFP consultants in the peace negotiations; the assurance of safety and immunity of all those involved in the peace talks; the general, unconditional and omnibus release of all political prisoners; and the abrogation of the false terrorist designation of the NDFP, its member organizations including CNL, panel members, consultants and all others working for peace—are serious concerns that must be addressed by the parties in advancing the process.

Previous agreements need also to be in place, especially The Hague Joint Declaration, Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) as these already provide the pillars of the process.

CNL promotes and upholds the NDFP program which provides a comprehensive way forward for national liberation and democracy including upholding people’s democratic rights, national industrialization, genuine agrarian reform, and promotion of a national and progressive people’s culture.

With guarded optimism and revolutionary fervor, we support efforts for the resumption of the peace talks. We continue to seek justice and advance the national democratic revolution with a socialist perspective on all fronts.

Long live the National Democratic Front of the Philippines!
Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Long live the New People’s Army!
Long live the Filipino people!

Christians for National Liberation: Church's prophetic witness is to fight for the Filipino people's interests, path to just peace is addressing the roots of the armed conflict