Bulatlat: What does this imply for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations?
JMS: The constant propaganda of the Arroyo regime and the reactionary armed forces that they are finishing off the NPA through military force runs counter to their occasional pretenses for peace negotiations. They are not really interested in peace negotiations as a way of addressing the roots of the armed conflict and moving towards a just and lasting peace through basic social, economic and political reforms. They wish to be perceived as interested in peace negotiations but in fact they merely wish to misrepresent the NPA as already weakening and to confuse the people.
Bulatlat: How would you respond to the AFP’s claim that the NPA’s numbers have been “greatly reduced” through intensified “counter-insurgency” operations?
Bulatlat: The people know very well that the Arroyo regime and the reactionary armed forces are lying when they claim that they have “greatly reduced” the NPA’s numbers. The NPA is gaining strength and advancing because the people want revolutionary change and the crisis of the ruling system is ever worsening. It is intensifying its tactical offensives.
These belie the false claims of the AFP about killing off so many NPA fighters (in fact civilians and unarmed social activists), reducing the number of guerrilla fronts, overrunning NPA camps and armories, successfully forcing or bribing NPA fighters to surrender and so on.
Bulatlat: What do you make of Malacañang’s statement that it is still willing to pursue the peace negotiations even as bounties have been put up for you and Ka Roger Rosal?
JMS: Such a statement is exposed as an expression of bad faith and deception by the offer of bounties for my head and that of Ka Roger Rosal. The so-called peace tactics of the Arroyo regime are meant only to serve the main though futile objective of destroying or pacifying the revolutionary movement of the people.
Bulatlat: Why do you think the Arroyo administration is hell-bent on ending the “insurgency” by 2010?
JMS: The Arroyo regime wants to end the armed revolutionary movement in order to preserve the rotten US-dominated ruling system of the big compradors, landlords and corrupt government officials. It wants to continue the oppression and exploitation of the Filipino people. It wants to keep the power and loot that it has accumulated.
Bulatlat: Why still go into peace negotiations with the Arroyo regime?