Better to Resume Formal Peace Talks Than Not To Do So

When the JASIG-protected NDFP consultants are released and get travel documents before August 20, it would be better than not to resume formal peace talks on August 20-27, 2016 because it is during the formal talks that the GPH and NDFP negotiating panels can discuss the mode of ceasefire and how best to arrange this. Read more


Luis G. Jalandoni
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiatiang Panel

Out-going President Benigno S. Aquino III distorts the facts in saying that it was not his regime but the NDFP that walked out of the peace talks.

On February 26, 2013 when both sides were discussing the proposed truce and cooperation between the Aquino government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, Aquino’s delegation of special representatives, led by his Political Adviser walked out of the negotiations. Whereafter, Norwegian Special Envoy Ture Lundh called him and Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Founding Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines to a sidebar meeting. Ambassador Lundh proposed a reconvening after the GPH delegation walk-out. Read more

NDFP Condemns Illegal Arrest of NDFP Consultant Maria Concepcion “Concha” Araneta-Bocala

2 August 2015
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemns in the strongest terms the illegal arrest of NDFP Consultant Maria Concepcion “Concha” Araneta-Bocala.
She is a peace consultant of the NDFP for the Visayas. She has been issued Document of Identification No. ND978245 under assumed name Remi Estrella. Her illegal arrest is another flagrant violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). The Aquino regime is answerable for this shameful disrespect for its solemn obligation to abide by a binding peace agreement. Therefore, the NDFP demands the immediate release of NDFP Consultant Concha Araneta Bocala.
We likewise vigorously condemn the awarding of a bounty of P 7.8 Million based on the DND/DILG Joint Order No. 14-2012 of November 12, 2012 listing alleged “235 wanted communists” with an updated bounty on their  heads of P 466.88 Million. DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin must be held accountable for this, together with President Aquino. This Joint Order is a veritable Order of Battle, a gross violation of the JASIG, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and International Law.
As past experience has shown, the revolutionary movement is able to replace arrested leaders and comrades, and continue the revolutionary struggle. Those arrested have trained many others to take up the responsibilities of carrying forward the struggle for national and social revolution.
Qualified lawyers and others (doctors, etc.) will surely offer their assistance to NDFP Consultant Maria Concepcion “Concha” Araneta-Bocala and whoever may have been arrestesd with her.
She had been already involved in peace talks way back in 1986/87 during the Corazon Aquino regime. She is truly a highly valued peace consultant of the NDFP.

NDFP Condemns Illegal Arrest of JASIG Holder Ernesto Lorenzo and His Wife Joyce Latayan

31 July 2015
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) vigorously condemns the illegal arrest of JASIG holder, Ernesto Lorenzo last 20 July 2015 at the IT Center in Gilmore, Quezon City.  He was arrested by combined elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Gourp (CIDG), the Philippine National Police and the Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (ATCU).
Ernesto Lorenzo has been issued NDFP Document of Identification No. ND 978229 under the assumed name Lean Martinez. He has likewise been issued a Letter of Acknowledgment signed by then GRP Panel Chairperson Silvestre H. Bello III.
Despite his request, he was not shown any warrant of arrest. His request to call a lawyer was also denied. After interrogation at Camp Crame, he was turned over to the Anti-Organized Crime Unit – CIDG.
Seized from Ernesto Lorenzo were the following: his backpack, 2 cellphones, 1 android phone, 3 USB, 1 hard drive, a brand new Neo computer, P 35,000 in cash and an ATM card.
About the same time Ernesto Lorenzo was arrested (2 p.m.), his wife Joyce Latayan was arrested at their home at Pecson Ville, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. About 50 military men in civilian clothes raided the house, causing shock to the Lorenzos’ one year old daughter Julie Alicia.
The raiding team made a search on the second floor of the house, without the presence of Joyce Latayan. As is the standard operating procedure of the state security forces, they planted a handgun and a rifle grenade. This became their so-called evidence for filing trumped up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives against Ernesto Lorenzo and Joyce Latayan. Joyce Latayan was also brought to Camp Crame and detained at the Major Crimes Investigation Unit (MCIU) – CIDG.
Ernesto Lorenzo suffers from asthma, hepatitis B, gallstones and a slip disc. One week after their arrest, Ernesto Lorenzo and Joyce Latayan have not been seen by a doctor of choice.
The NDFP demands the immediate release of JASIG holder Ernesto Lorenzo and his wife Joyce Latayan. The trumped-up criminal charges against them must be dropped. All materials illegally confiscated from them must be returned to them. The government of Aquino must show respect for and comply with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and all other binding peace agreements solemnly contracted with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Response of the NDFP to the UN Secretary General’s Report (June 2015) on Children Rights Violations in the Philippines

26 July 2015
The United Nations Secretary General commits a grievous act against Filipino children in his latest report on Children Rights’ Violators. He covers up the numerous grave violations of the regime and its armed forces against the basic rights of children.
He has ignored the regular reports of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) through its Special Office for the Protection of Children, to the UNICEF. The reports provide detailed documentation of violations of children’s rights by the regime and its armed forces.
The latest report was presented this July 2015.
Some examples are herein stated; documentation is available at the Joint Monitoring Committee’s Joint Secretariat in Quezon City, Philippines.
In addition, KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of Human Rights) documented, from July 2010 until December 2013, 132,633 victims of children rights’ violations with the use of schools, medical, religious and other public places for military purposes by the regime’s armed forces. In addition, KARAPATAN also documented 18 cases of extrajudicial killings victimizing minors during the same period.
The UN Secretary General’s Report perfunctorily mentions that “the United Nations verified the military use of six schools and one hospital by the armed forces, mainly during operations against the BIFF.” It makes no mention of the regime’s Department of Education Memorandum No. 21 of December 13, 2013 which adopts in toto the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Letter Directive No. 25 of July 15, 2013. This AFP directive allows the military to conduct civil-military operations inside schools. This violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the regime’s own Republic Act 7610. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon himself declared, “The use of schools for military purposes puts children at risk of attack and hampers children’s right to education.”
Using this Department of Education (DepEd) Memorandum and AFP Letter Directive, the military has been able to attack or misuse 20 DepEd Lumad (Indigenous Peoples) schools in Mindanao alone in 2013 and 2014. Up to now, there is the continuous attack and closing down of Lumad schools by the military. The cases of such attacks are cited in House Resolution No. 2138 filed by Representative Terry L. Ridon, Kabataan Party List, on 1 June 2015.
UN Secretary General’s Report is unfair and unjust in its references to the New People’s Army (NPA). The reference to an alleged NPA recruiter of two minors involves mere unproven allegation and is speculative. It jumps to a judgment even as the reported case is supposedly under investigation.
The reference to parents in rural areas sending their children to urban areas is purely malicious speculation and innuendo. It covers up the fact that extreme and widespread poverty drives children in both rural and urban areas to become street children in urban areas. It also covers up the fact that the Aquino regime’s Conditional Cash Transfer program, supposedly intended to help the poor and keep the children in school, is a milking cow for corrupt bureaucrats and military officers.
The UN Secretary General does not take into account the NDFP’s Declaration and Program of Action for the Rights, Protection and Welfare of Children, issued by the NDFP National Council on 24 April 2012. This NDFP policy document declares the NDFP’s willingness to cooperate with such international organs as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UNICEF, UNESCO, ILO World Health Organization, World Food Program and other UN agencies for the purpose of upholding the rights of children, protecting them and ensuring their welfare in an all-round way.
The UN Secretary General should also consider the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law of 1998 and the NDFP Declaration of Adherence to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I of 5 July 1996 and the earlier NDFP Declaration on 15 August 1991 adhering to Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, Protocol II and International Humanitarian Law.
In view of the above-stated adherence to the Geneva Conventions and Protocols and the principles and consistent practice of the NDFP in adhering to IHL, we strongly object to the UN Secretary General’s listing the NPA in its Annex II List of Parties that recruit or use children … and as “persistent perpetrator”. We likewise object to being classified and lumped together with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

NDFP Negotiating Panel Endorses Safe and Orderly Release of POW Lupiba

Press Statement
22 July 2015
NDFP Negotiating Panel Endorses Safe and Orderly Release of POW Lupiba
The National Democratic Front of the Philippine (NDFP) Negotiating Panel strongly endorses the recommendations of the NDFP North Central Mindanao Region for starting the negotiations for the safe and orderly release of Prisoner of War (POW) Pfc. Adonis Jess M. Lupiba, Serial Number 863573, of the 58th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, Armed Forces of the Philippines. He was captured by the New People’s Army in a legitimate military operation of the NPA on July 11, 2015 in Alagatan, Gingoog City.
We commend the NDFP North Central Mindanao Region’s  endorsing of the declaration of the NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Command that it is prepared to forego normal processes of investigation and the revolutionary judicial process as a gesture of goodwill and to show the revolutionary movement’s sincerity in seeking the resumption of peace talks with the Aquino government.
We likewise commend the NDFP North Central Mindanao Region’s assurance that POW Lupiba is being accorded humane treatment as a POW in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and other laws and rules of the people’s democratic government.
The NDFP Negotiating Panel issues this strong endorsement also in response to the appeal of the wife and parents of the aforesaid POW and the call of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) signed by Co-Chairperson, Most Rev. Antonio Ledesma, S.J. and the Right Rev. Felixberto Calang, IFI, Core Group Member.
We strongly urge the leadership of both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to issue the required Suspension of Offensive Military and Police Operations (SOMO/SOPO), which will be accompanied by a corresponding NPA ceasefire for the same period and area, in order to ensure the safe and orderly release of POW Lupiba.
We believe this goodwill gesture of the NDFP North Central Mindanao Region and NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Command will improve the atmosphere for the resumption of formal peace negotiations which ought to address the root causes of the 46-year-old armed conflict.
The issuance of the SOMO is a test for the new AFP Head, Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri who just declared that he supports the resumption of peace negotiations between the Aquino government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The new PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez  ought to issue the SOPO.

Generals Año and Baladad Must Answer for Their War Crimes

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemns in the strongest terms possible the war crimes committed by Generals Año and Baladad in the extrajudicial killings of hors d’combat, NPA Commander Leoncio Pitao (Kumander Parago) and Medic Vanessa “Kyle”Limpag on June 28, 2015 in Purok 9, Barangay Panalom, Paquibato District, Davao City.
Commader Parago was wounded and had ran out of bullets, when troops under Generals Año and Baladad, summarily executed him in flagrant violation of the International Humanitarian Law strictly prohibiting such action against a combatant who is already hors d’ combat. The troops led by Lt. Col.  Rodney Intal of the 69th Infantry Battalion riddled him with bullets and shot him in the head. Autopsy results are proof of this war crime by Generals Año, Baladad and their troops.
NPA Medic, Vanessa “Ka Kyle”Limpag, who was caring for the sick Commander Parago, was unarmed. She raised her arms and shouted “I am a medic! Do not finish off Commander Parago! He is sick!” She was razed to the ground. She died instantly. Killing an unarmed medic, a civilian according to the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, is a war crime. It is killing a hors d’ combat.
The blatant violations of International Humanitarian Law are likewise flagrant violations of the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed by GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels on March 16, 1998 and approved by their respective Principals later in 1998.
Generals Año and Baladad, Lt. Col. Intal and other officers and soldiers involved in aforesaid flagrant violations of International Humanitarian Law and the CARHRIHL must be held accountable for their war crimes!
Justice for the families of Commander Parago and Medic Vanessa Limpag!
Luis G. Jalandoni

Deles Is Engaged in Malicious Kind of Preconditioning

Press Statement
14 July 2015
Compliance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG, 1995) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL, 1998) and other peace agreements is not a precondition. It is a solemn obligation arising from agreements forged meticulously by both Parties, the GRP and the NDFP.
Noncompliance means the Government of the Philippines (GPH) does not know how to honor agreements.
It is Secretary Deles who is engaged in extremely malicious kind of preconditioning. She is setting such a foolish precondition to formal peace talks as getting rid of  existing agreements like the  Hague Joint Declaration, the JASIG and CARHRIHL  By such preconditioning,  Secretary Deles obstructs the efforts to achieve an agreement on social and economic reforms and a possible truce and cooperation before the end of the current Aquino administration.
The positive actions of people like Speaker Belmonte, former President Fidel V. Ramos under whose adminstration ten agreements including the The Hague Joint Declaration (1992), the JASIG and the CARHRIHL, and former GRP Negotiating Panel Chair Silvestre H. Bello III are appreciated by the NDFP.  Bello had declared, “The GPH must respect the peace agreements. For who would trust a government that does not honor and comply with agreements and contracts it has entered into.”
The NDFP likewise appreciates the call of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform and other peace advocates to honor all agreements, address the roots of the armed conflict, and resume peace talks.
Chairperson, Negotiating Panel
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Red Salute to Ka Parago Who Loved the Masses and the Revolution

July 2, 2015
“Long live the revolution! Long live the masses!” Dying words of NPA Commander Ka Parago, as enemy soldiers riddled him with bullets.
Ka Leoncio Pitao, Kumander Parago, joined the New People’s Army in 1978 after his father was killed by government troops in Loreto, Agusan del Sur.
He lived with the masses, loved them and sowed the seeds of the revolution in their hearts. He became known and honored as the protector of the poor and oppressed. The massses in the Southern Mindanao region fondly called him “Tatay, or Ka Ago”.
He became a legendary guerrilla fighter and commander, leading numerous daring tactical offensives against enemy forces of the reactionary Philippine regime supported by US imperialism.
Among his guerrilla unit’s outstanding achievements was the daring raid of the Davao Penal Colony in April 2007. Confiscated were five M16s, 45 Carbines, 46 Shotguns and seven .38 Caliber pistols. The tactical offensive was completed in 20 minutes, without firing a shot. The guards were surprised and disarmed. None of them was hurt.
In February 1999 he led in the capture of Army General Victor Obillo and Captain Alex Montealto. Commander Parago worked with the NDFP Negotiating Panel to cause their release to the International Committee of the Red Cross and government officials, Senator Loren Legarda, Secretary of Justice and GRP Panel Member Silvestre H. Bello III in April 1999 NDFP Chief Legal Counsel Romeo T. Capulong and NDFP Political Consultant Sotero Llamas were present for the highly publicized release.
General Obillo, upon his release, praised Commander Parago for according him and Capt. Montealto humane treatment during their captivity. At one time, Obillo said, he was given an alcoholic drink because he was chilling in the cold mountains, although NPA fighters were not allowed to have alcoholic drinks. Obillo further expressed admiration for Parago’s mastery of the terrain.
Parago was captured in November 1999. Ka Coni Ledesma, NDFP Negotiating Panel Member and I were privileged to visit him in prison in Camp Aguinaldo. Together with lawyer Edre Olalia, a press conference was held in the prison. During the press conference and conversations with us, he expressed his profound desire to go back to his beloved masses in Mindanao. He was released in recognizance in September 2001 to Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church, Tomas A. Millamena. His release was a confidence and goodwill measure to foster the resumption of peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP. These negotiations were about to be held in Oslo with the Royal Norwegian Government as the official Third Party Facilitator.
After his release he reunited with his beloved masses in Mindanao and reassumed his outstanding role in their revolutionary struggle. In the face of the escalating military attacks of the enemy against the people, Commander Parago led daring and successful NPA operations. The enemy’s hatred and fear of him intensified.
In 2009, government agents abducted, raped and murdered his daughter, Rebelyn. This did not stop him from continuing to fight the enemy. Despite his rage against the enemy’s vile act of rape and murder of his daughter, he adhered to the policy of the revolutionary movement to accord humane treatment to captives of the NPA and arrange their safe and orderly release as Prisoners of War, if they were not liable for serious criminal offenses against the people. But some of those enemy agents identified in the murder and rape of his daughter were subjected to revolutionary justice.
For some time it has been known to the comrades and the masses that Ka Parago has been ill with diabetes, hyperthyrodism, hepatitis and hypertension, and he could hardly walk. He was offered a leave to get rest and medical treatment, but he refused. He decided to stay and live with the masses.
He was undergoing medical treatment by medic Ka Kyle or Vanessa Limpag, when the enemy riddled Commander Parago with bullets. Ka Kyle was able to raise her hands and shout that she was a medic, but she too was razed to the ground. She died instantly.
In stark contrast to the humane treatment accorded by Commander Parago to General Obillo, Capt. Montealto and other Prisoners of War, the troops under General Ano summarily killed Commander Parago and his medic, Vanessa Limpag. Gerneral Ano and his troops are subject to investigation for violating international humanitarian law, CARHRIHL and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) for killing Commander Parago and Vanessa Limpag as hors de combat, among others. The units under General Ano, notorious for involvement in the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos, must also be investigated for extrajudicial killings of indigenous peoples’ leaders, the closing of Lumad schools, and encampment by soldiers of schools and other public places.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines joins the masses in Mindanao and throughout the country, the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the organs of political power in mourning the death of the great revolutionary, the outstanding NPA commander, and people’s martyr and hero, Kasamang Leoncio Pitao, Kumander Parago. We turn our grief into revolutionary courage.
The revolutionary spirit and legacy of Kumander Parago lives on in the thousands of revolutionary fighters he has trained and the revolutionary masses in whose hearts he sowed the seeds of revolution. “Tatay to the masses he loved and served, his undying fighting spirit will be a beacon of inspiration for the Philippine revolution and the masses!
Mabuhay ang rebolusyonaryong diwa ni Kasamang Leoncio Pitao, Kumander Parago!
Mabuhay ang masa at ang Rebolusyong Pilipino!
Mabuhay ang CPP, NPA at NDFP!
Mabuhay ang Sambayanang Pilipino!
NDFP National Executive Committee