Philippine Peace Center
May 8, 2013
GPH “new approach” is a recipe for war, not peace
The Philippine Peace Center (PPC), having assisted in and closely
monitored the GPH-NDFP negotiations since 1992, decries the recent
statements from various GPH officials declaring their intent to withdraw
from the peace negotiations with the NDFP and blaming the NDFP for the
collapse of the talks. Their puported “new approach” to peace is a recipe
for counter-insurgency war, not a path to peace.
While they could not yet give details of this “new approach”, GPH Chief
Negotiator Padilla, OPAPP Secretary Deles, Defense Secretary Gazmin and
Malacanang spokesman Lacierda have described it as involving “localized
talks”, “community-based”, “addressing the issues on the ground”,
“multi-track” and under the framework of the NIPSP (National Internal
Peace and Security Plan) and Oplan Bayanihan.
There is really nothing new in this “new approach and framework”, which
has been characterized by token and selective consultations, grants of
amnesty, rehabilitation and socio-economic projects for fake surrenderees
or “rebel returnees”, and intensified counter-insurgency military
operations. Since the Cory Aquino government, the GPH (then the GRP) has
tried time and again to inject these into the negotiations and the peace
process with various armed groups opposing the government. Those who
accepted this framework fell into a negotiated capitulation to the GRP/GPH,
which only led to the perpetuation, rather than the resolution, of the
roots of the armed conflict.
This so-called “new approach” means that the Aquino government is
running away from the GPH commitments and obligations not only to the
GPH-NDFP peace negotiations but to the Filipino people who are hoping that
the talks would lead to a just and lasting peace.
It means the Aquino government is junking the 1992 The Hague Joint
Declaration, the framework agreement that has made the peace talks
possible, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG),
and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and
International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and other agreements to which
previous GPH administrations had affixed their signatures and affirmed as
binding and effective.
Since the resumption of formal talks in February 2011, the Aquino
administration has continually reneged on its obligations and violated
these agreements, such as refusing to convene the Joint Monitoring
Committee, arresting and refusing to release detained JASIG-protected
persons, refusing to reconstitute the NDFP list of JASIG-protected
persons, and blatantly distorting and misrepresenting facts in order to
justify its terminating the negotiations while pinning the blame on the
There is only one “new approach” the Aquino administration should take
that would lead to wholesome and fruitful peace negotiations and redound
to the benefit of our people. It should respect all agreements the GPH
has signed, comply with its obligations and commitments, and start
negotiating in good faith for a change.
Reference: Rey Claro Casambre (PPC Executive Director); 09238108428,