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A Needless Nail on the Coffin of the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations

By Julieta de Lima
Interim Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
July 19, 2021 Press Statement

The Anti-Terrorism Council Resolution No. 21 designating the NDFP as a terrorist organization, is an anti-peace act. The Duterte regime is once again demonstrating its penchant for state terrorism and its abject stupidity and delusion that it can stop the people’s aspiration for a just and lasting peace.

Consequent to Proclamations 360 and 374, and Executive Order No. 70 and the Anti-Terror Act of 2020, ATC Resolution No. 21 seeks further to ensure that no peace negotiations would take place for the duration of the Duterte presidency and to give Duterte all the advantages of staying in power with his daughter Sara as his stooge.

Duterte pretended to be for peace negotiations for a short while in 2016 and early 2017 while he was maliciously on the way of launching an all-out war and sabotaging the peace negotiations.

ATC Resolution No. 21 is calculated to arrest and kill those tagged as beng associated with the NDFP and also targets all dissenters whom the regime accuse as belonging to the NDFP.

It is a big waste for Duterte to throw away all that have been achieved in the prolonged and arduous peace negotiations, which has run on and off through the administrations of Presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph, Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino, Jr.

These negotiations have forged the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and have done substantial work on the most important parts of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economomic Reforms, i.e., Agraian Reform and Rural Development and National Industrialization and Economic Development.

But I am optimistic that the people will prevail and will eventually put Duterte out of power as they did with Marcos and that they would put to power a president who would be willing to resume the peace negotiations for a just and lasting peace.

As I write this statement I am also finalizing my speech for a webinar in Australia on The Quest for Just Peace in the Philippines in the Midst of Raging Civil War where I shall be discussing the NDFP Draft Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms. The NDFP version of CASER is a clear and shining proof against the allegations of the real terrorists, Duterte and his ilk.

People’s interest and support for the Filipino people’s achievement of a just and lasting peace is so high that there is hardly a week that we in the negotiating panel do not receive invitations to speak on the subject. This has kept us busier than when there were ongoing peace negotiations.