On non-declaration of ceasefire, peace talks and AFP crimes

Communist Party of the Philippines
April 1, 2017

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) did not proceed to issue a declaration of interim ceasefire yesterday, after the GRP announced that it will not issue a similar ceasefire declaration. The issuance of ceasefire declarations was supposed to be done reciprocally as agreed upon by the NDFP and GRP in the their March 11 statement Joint Statement.

In an earlier statement, the CPP had expressed willingness to comply with this agreement. In response, GRP President Duterte said he had to consult with national security and military officials about issuing a reciprocal ceasefire declaration. It can only be surmised that he heeded the advise of AFP officials on the matter.

Support for fourth round of talks even without ceasefire
The CPP fully supports the scheduled 4th round of NDFP-GRP peace negotiations slated for April 2-6 despite the non-issuance of ceasefire declarations by either side. The Party looks forward to fruitful discussions and positive steps towards forging an agreement on socio-economic reforms as well as political and constitutional reforms.

The CPP anticipates that the question of free land distribution to the tillers, the most pressing social justice issue in the country, will be fully addressed in the talks. The CPP also anticipates intense discussions and debates on the people’s demand for national industrialization, as well as expansion of public services, versus the insistence of the GRP to pursue the neoliberal policies of liberalization, privatization and deregulation.

Rally against AFP intensified attacks on civilians
The CPP anticipates heightened attacks by the AFP against civilians in light of Duterte’s non-declaration of ceasefire. Over the past three days alone, the AFP have carried out the following fascist crimes against civilians:

On March 29, 100 soldiers of the 58th IB entered Sitio Camansi, Barangay Banglay, Lagonglong town, Misamis Oriental and encamped in the Lumad community. Thirty six families (187 individuals) were forced to evacuate and seek sanctuary in Cagayan de Oro.

On March 30, elements of the 9th ID entered Sitio Traktora, Bagong Silang, Sipocot, Camarines Sur and without provocation strafed several people who were at the waiting shed, killing resident Renel Mirabeles and severely injuring Joseph Sagario and Regie Loprandado. Another civilian, Erick Madrona, was accosted and later accused of being a member of the NPA. To cover-up the attack against the civilians, military PR officials churned out the fake news that the shooting of the civilians was an encounter with the NPA.

In another incident on March 30, elements of the 203rd Infantry Brigade used helicopters to drop at least 16 bombs on sitios Karumata and Kalungbuyan, in Barangay Benli, Bulalacao town, Oriental Mindoro endangering the lives of the Hanunuo Mangyan communities in the area.

Also on March 30, soldiers of the 28th and 66th IB killed a peasant resident of Tagbinonga, Mati City, Davao Oriental, after they encountered the NPA in the area. The peasant was on his way to the town center to sell copra when he was waylaid by AFP soldiers. In press releases, the AFP claims the peasant was a member of the NPA, something which his family disputes.

The Party calls on the people to rally and protest the extrajudicial killings, aerial bombings, occupation of communities, forcible evacuations, hamletting and other fascist criminal attacks perpetrated by the AFP against the peasant masses. Expose the AFP for propagating lies and fake news to cover up their crimes.

NPA is duty-bound to defend the people
In light of AFP intensified attacks against civilians, the New People’s Army (NPA) is duty-bound to punish the perpetrators of these fascsit crimes and carry out offensives to disable the AFP from carrying out further attacks and armed suppression against the civilians.

The NPA must take full initiative in order to defend the people’s interests, protect their livelihood and the environment against destructive enterprises and ensure that economic ventures comply with policies that uphold the people’s welfare.

The NPA must continue to help the people wage struggles for genuine land reform, fight feudal exactions and various forms of oppression and help them raise agricultural production.

The NPA must open its doors wide open in order to accomodate the large numbers of people who want to join the armed struggle in their aspiration to attain justice and work to end the prevailing social system.