NDFP Negotiating Panel on the appointment of Gilberto Teodoro as DND Secretary
“It comes as no surprise that recently appointed Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro has always been against pursuing peace talks with the NDFP. After all, Teodoro comes from the same ilk of military warmongers who served Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and supported convicted war criminal Jovito Palparan,” said Julie de Lima, Interim Chairperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Peace Negotiating Panel in response to Teodoro’s recent statement that he is not keen to revive peace negotiations with the NDFP.
“Teodoro was one of the main implementors of Oplan Bantay Laya which is one of the bloodiest counterrevolutionary campaigns under the US-Arroyo regime,” added de Lima.
Teodoro, who is now the third person under the current Marcos Jr. administration to lead the Department of Defense (DND), served the same post from 2007 to 2009. Several human rights abuses were documented during his term under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo including aerial bombings in Mindanao and various cases of enforced disappearances as part of Oplan Bantay-Laya.
“We reiterate the NDFP’s policy of openness to peace negotiations. But at the same time, we see no signs of the current administration’s willingness to create the necessary conditions for peace talks to continue,” added de Lima.
“Continued US military presence and intervention is an obstacle for creating favorable conditions for peace negotiations. The most recent Balikatan exercises, considered the largest in recent memory, is a demonstration of direct US support for counterrevolutionary attacks by the Marcos Jr regime,” added de Lima.
In an interview with Rappler last June 7, de Lima stressed that the GRP must first remove the designation of NDFP peace consultants as ‘terrorists’ under the Anti-Terror Law and release political prisoners in order to continue the negotiations.
In June last year, NDFP Senior Advisor Luis Jalandoni was designated a ‘terrorist’ under the anti-terror law. Since then, various groups have called for Jalandoni’s removal from the Anti-Terror Council’s list.
“But while the revolutionary movement is always ready to talk peace with the GRP, we will advance the people’s war to defend the Filipino people against more brutal fascist attacks and US military intervention which we expect to intensify with the newly appointed DND chief,” said de Lima.#