GMA’s Peace is ‘Peace of the Graveyard’ – Jalandoni

Bulatlat interviewed Luis Jalandoni, chairman of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, on these. Following is the full text of the interview:

Alexander Martin Remollino (AMR) – How is Professor Sison doing now, days after his arrest?

Luis Jalandoni (LJ) – According to his lawyer, Michel Pestman he is in good spirits. At the hearing yesterday, he was emphatic in firmly denying the false charges presented against him.

But because he is not allowed to have a radio, television or newspapers, his only contact with the outside world is his lawyer. You know that Joma is a very active and social person, so being in isolation and incommunicado is a form of torture for him. The only person allowed to see him is his lawyer. His wife, Julie, is not allowed to see him.

The prison personnel also refused to give Joma the medicines prescribed by his doctor which Julie brought for him when she tried to visit him in prison.

What they are doing to Joma is a violation of international humanitarian law.

A newspaper article was quoting a Dutch official saying that the Dutch prison meets the international standard. Perhaps the building or prison set-up meets the international standard but not the treatment of the prisoner.

AMR – What can you say about Mrs. Arroyo’s statement that Professor Sison’s arrest is a “giant step toward peace”?

LJ – Whichever way you look at it, the arrest of Joma is detrimental to and endangers the peace process. Joma is the chief political consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel who has contributed so much to the advancement of the peace negotiations.

You can ask the members of the GRP Panel how Joma is able to give opinions and advice that would break an impasse, or better still, pave the way to some kind of an agreement.

But perhaps Arroyo’s statement is reflective of her regime’s definition of “peace” which is the peace of the graveyard, since it is she and her government that is unleashing the extra-judicial killings, the abductions, the disappearances. “Peace” with the silencing of the progressives and other opposition. That is not peace; that is tyranny.

AMR – Is it possible to negotiate peace at the local levels, as Sec. Norberto Gonzales has announced the Arroyo regime will do?

LJ – One can almost be sure that when Gonzales proposes something, it is meant to sabotage peace. Look at his record in Mindanao with the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front).

Localized peace talks have been proposed by every regime after Marcos. Gonzales knows very well that such proposal has been rejected time and again by the NDFP both on the national and on the local levels.

As usual, Gonzales is resorting to psywar tactics to fool the public (into thinking) that the NDFP leadership has no control over its constituency.

The roots of the armed conflict are of national scope and of national importance and should be discussed on the national level by both parties to the negotiations. The NDFP has clear policies regarding this matter which have been strictly followed by all local units of the revolutionary movement.

AMR – What is the NDFP’s experience with past attempts of the Arroyo regime to pursue localized peace negotiations?

LJ – The attempts of the Arroyo regime to pursue localized peace negotiations have failed and will continue to fail because the organs of political power of the NDFP at the local levels have refused to go into any localized peace negotiations. Their reply is simple: negotiate with NDFP Negotiating Panel. It alone has the mandate from the national leadership to negotiate.

AMR – What is your view about Mrs. Arroyo’s three-year timeline to “end armed rebellion” in the Philippines?

LJ – Every regime, from Marcos to Aquino to Ramos to Estrada, and now to Arroyo, has given a timeline for destroying, quashing, ending, crushing (they have used so many verbs already) the revolutionary movement. They have failed to do so.

I remember when Enrile, then Marcos’ defense secretary, announced that he will crush the revolutionary movement by the end of 1974. Banners and painted slogans carrying “Long live the CPP, NDF and NPA!” greeted the Marcos dictatorship in January 1975.

The movement will still be here, developing, growing and gaining victories long after the demise of the Arroyo regime. The regime’s bravado is full of hot air.

As long as the problems of poverty, exploitation, injustice, oppression are not fully addressed, the people will continue with their revolutionary struggle. (

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