Lorenzana ignorant that reforms are at peace talks’ heart

Press Statement | 05 July 2017

NDFP RWC-SER Vice Chair Alan Jazmines stressing the need to proceed with the discussions on socioeconomic reforms during the 3rd round of formal talks in Rome January 2017 / Altermidya.net

The Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP RWC-SER) welcomes the announcement that the fifth round of formal peace talks between the NDFP and the GRP might resume in August. At the same time, the NDFP RWC-SER condemns Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana’s earlier statement that the “government panel should consider ending the peace process.”

This statement only shows that the Defense Secretary is a cold-blooded warmonger who has no interest at all in advancing the interests of the Filipino people. His continuous harping that there should be a bilateral ceasefire before any peace talks can resume is putting the cart before the horse.

He has shown that he has no grasp at all of the roots of the armed conflict. He rejects the fact that socio-economic reforms lie at the heart of the peace talks. He does not seem to care that any substantial gain that can be reached by the NDFP and the GRP would benefit the greater majority of the Filipino people. Without any remorse to the lives lost, he is brazenly pursuing a purely military solution to the armed conflict in the country.

Like the US lapdog and militarist that he is, Lorenzana show no appreciation for the milestone agreement reached by both parties on the principle of free distribution of land to the tillers in the third round of the talks. In fact, he has viciously gone after ordinary farmers and their organizations defending their right to till their land. He has opposed the statement of his own President who has issued a clarion call to occupy oligarchs’ lands.

More and more, Lorenzana is proving himself to be a major obstacle to peace and if President Rodrigo Duterte and the GRP panel want to genuinely pursue the road of peace, they must make sure that such an obstacle is removed.###

Alan Jazmines
Vice-Chairperson, NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms
Contact Number: + 63 949 137 7260