On the possible resumption of peace talks
1. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) welcomes the possible resumption of the NDFP-GRP peace talks after GRP President Duterte reversed his earlier proclamation terminating negotiations in November last year. The revolutionary forces maintain the policy of openness to negotiations to seek solutions to the roots of the armed conflict. The Filipino people await a Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reforms (CASER) that would address the aspirations of the people to seek an end to their oppressive and exploitative conditions.
2. The Party and the NPA reiterate their full support and trust in the NDFP Negotiating Panel as representative of all revolutionary forces in peace negotiations. The CPP upholds the position of the NDFP that there should be no preconditions in the resumption of peace talks as stipulated in The Hague Joint Declaration. The Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) must be reaffirmed and implemented. A presidential amnesty proclamation to release all political prisoners must immediately be issued in line with agreements during the first round of talks in 2016.
3. At this point, Duterte has yet to provide the Filipino people with a reason for them to reduce their efforts to resist his regime and call for his ouster. Without a substantive effort to implement previous agreements and seriously negotiate the CASER without precondition, the Duterte regime’s talk of reviving the peace talks will be reduced to nothing but a mere PR (public relations) blitz used for political damage control amid its worsening political crisis and isolation from the people.
4. The Party is keenly aware that while efforts to revive peace negotiations are underway, bureaucrat capitalist crime and corruption, more burdensome taxes and other neoliberal policies under the Duterte regime are worsening, as well as widespread extrajudicial killings, subservience to the US, and fascist onslaughts against the people.
To augment efforts to revive peace talks, the people must continue to wage all-out resistance and mount organized protest actions to amplify their democratic demands for land reform, wage increases, jobs, expanded social services and so on. They must build and strengthen their unity and heighten their resistance to Duterte’s tyranny and terrorism.
5. Under Oplan Kapayapaan, the AFP continues to intensify its increasingly brutal military operations marked by AFP armed occupation of civilian villages, aerial bombings, imposing curfews and restrictions on movement and commerce, perpetrating abductions and killings of peasant leaders and activists, compelling people to sign papers as “NPA surrenderees”, and combat operations against NPA units.
Without letup in its war of suppression, the Duterte regime leaves the NPA with little choice but to wage nationwide armed struggle to defend the people against state terror and fascist violence.