The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemned President Rodrigo Duterte for arbitrarily terminating the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and for declaring an all-out war against the revolutionary movement.
In a statement, the CPP said, “Duterte has gone berserk and upturned the entire peace process facilitated by the Royal Norweigian Government. He has wasted the achievements attained in peace talks over the past few months. He has crushed the people’s aspiration to carry out peace negotiations as a means of resolving the roots of the ongoing civil war.”
Duterte announced the cancellation of peace talks, Feb. 5, tagged the CPP-New People’s Army-NDFP as a terrorist group. He also threatened to arrest the released NDFP consultants.
The CPP said “Duterte is proving to the NDFP and the people how difficult it is to conduct serious negotiations with a doublespeaking thug who only recognizes his own rules.” The CPP further said that Duterte is “presenting himself a charlatan who does not know the true meaning of just and lasting peace.”
The CPP maintained that Duterte has chosen to terminate peace talks when he could no longer use it to compel the CPP and NPA to a prolonged ceasefire.
The CPP and the NPA declared the lifting of unilateral ceasefire due to continuous military operations and failure of the GRP to fulfill its promise and obligation to release all political prisoners.
The CPP also belied Duterte’s claim of “having done everything” to pursue peace talks. The revolutionary group said that Duterte released the 18 NDFP consultants because otherwise he would have no one to talk to.
In branding the CPP, NPA and NDF as “a terrorist group,” the CPP said Duterte has effectively joined the US imperialists in its terrorist-tagging just a few days after his negotiating panel agreed to ask the US to remove the CPP, NPA and NDFP chief political consultant Jose Ma. Sison from its list of so-called “foreign terrorists.”
Furthermore, the CPP denounced the arrest of NDFP peace consultant Ariel Arbitrario in Davao City, Feb. 6.
“Not only will rearresting the NDFP consultants be a gross violation of the JASIG, it will also be the height of treachery and will prove him incapable of respecting agreements,” the CPP said. Jasig refers to the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees signed by both parties in 1995.
The CPP added that rearresting NDFP consultants on Duterte’s orders, even when there are no outstanding court orders, “will be tantamount to flaunting the law and exercising despotic authority.”
“Duterte’s all-out war is bound to set his fascist dogs in the AFP in a wild spree of human rights abuses against the people and gross violations of civil liberties,” the CPP said.
The CPP said the NPA is ever ready to face Duterte’s all-out war. “The AFP is overstretched. It could not even defeat the NPA in Eastern Mindanao despite its all-out offensives of the past four years. It will fail stem the nationwide growth of the NPA,” the CPP said.
The CPP called on the Filipino people to build a broad united front to demand peace talks and at the same time oppose the militarization and extrajudicial killings in the “anti-drug war” and all-out war and resist the worsening tyrannical rule under Duterte.