Press Statement

11 March 2001

 

BIG DISCREPANCY BETWEEN GMA CALLS FOR PEACE 

AND ACTIONS OF MILITARIST GROUP AROUND HER

 

By Jose Maria Sison

NDFP Chief Political Consultant

 The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is waiting for an official copy of the reported order of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to suspend offensive military and police operations in all the Calabarzon and Mindoro provinces for 30 days.  

Such order from the commander-in-chief herself or her duly authorized agents should reach the NDFP negotiating panel either through the GRP negotiating panel or humanitarian and peace mission of Sen. Loren Legarda, Supreme Bishop Tomas Millamena and Bishop Jesus Varela.

  Had such an order been issued and carried out much earlier, it would have prevented the death of police major Abelardo Martin.  This tragic event was completely unnecessary and avoidable.  It is the responsibility of the GRP, especially the militarist clique headed by executive secretary Renato de Villa.

 Since the overthrow of Estrada, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines has been ready to release police major Martin and Philippine army intelligence major Noel Buan.  This fact is known to the humanitarian and peace mission of Sen. Loren Legarda as well as former speaker Jose de Venecia.

  But the militarist group headed by executive secretary Renato de Villa and some top ranking military officers carried over from the Estrada regime have blocked the issuance of the SOMO and have escalated offensive military operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) in the Southern Tagalog region and in other parts of the country.

 According to the Melito Glor Command of the New People’s Army, the scout ranger attack on the NPA unit holding the late Major Martin was not a chance encounter.  It is part of a prolonged military campaign of suppression by the 3rd scout ranger battalion, 74th, 31st and 16th infantry battalions of the Philippine Army, Phlippine marines and the 3rd battalion of the regional special action force of the Philippine National Police and CAFGU units.

 The AFP and PNP have carried out military attacks on NPA units and the people in the municipalities of Unisan, Gumaca, Lopez, Calauag, Guinayangan, San Francisco, Catanauan, Padre Burgos and Agdangan in Quezon, Siniloan, Liliw, Nagcarlan, San Antonio, Cavinti, Magdalena and Sta. Maria in Laguna, Maragondon and Magallanes in Cavite, Mansalay, Roxas, Bulalacao, Puerto Galera, San Teodoro, Baco, Naujan and Victoria in Mindoro Oriental, and Abra de Ilog, Mamburao, Sablayan, Calintaan, San Jose and Magsaysay in Mindoro Occidental.

 Executive secretary de Villa has gone so far as to instruct the Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) to keep the issue of the prisoners of war out of its negotiations with the NDFP.  Thus, there is nothing about prisoners of war in the Joint Statement initialed by the two panels on 9 March 2001.

 There is a big discrepancy between the calls of Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo for peace and for the release of the prisoners of war and the militarist actions of her executive secretary, cluster E of her cabinet and the highest ranking military officers she inherited from Estrada.  The militarist group is delaying the release of political prisoners and is actually escalating military operations against the revolutionary forces and the people.

  As soon as the NDFP Negotiating Panel receives a copy of the ceasefire order of Macapagal-Arroyo, the NDFP shall issue the order to release Philippine army intelligence major Noel Buan and the ceasefire order to the Melito Glor Command of the NPA in order to reciprocate the SOMO or ceasefire order of the GRP.

 Through Sen. Loren Legarda of the humanitarian and peace mission, the NDFP Negotiating Panel has suggested to Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo that the SOMO be effective up to 17 April 2000 in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro.

There should be enough time for the NDFP Negotiating Panel to communicate with the responsible revolutionary organs and make arrangements for the safe and orderly release of major Buan.  There should also be enough time for the Melito Glor Command to verify whether the SOMO or ceasefire order of the GRP is being followed by the AFP, PNP and CAFGU.   #