The Obstructionism of Deles

By Fidel V. Agcaoili
Spokesperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
25 August 2011
Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) does not seem to be interested in reaching political settlements with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front of the Philippines (MILF) by addressing the roots of the armed conflicts.
Since she assumed her post, her personally supervised negotiating panels with both the NDFP and the MILF have been attempting to undermine and unilaterally amend or discard all previously signed agreements and documents in the peace negotiations between the GPH and the NDFP, on the one hand, and the GPH and the MILF, on the other, before and since these were formally started in 1995 and 2001, respectively.
She has adamantly refused to recognize the continuing character of the peace negotiations.  She has tried to arrogantly abrogate agreements previously signed by duly constituted GPH negotiating panels and approved by GPH Presidents Ramos and Estrada, respectively.
For instance, the GPH panel negotiating with the NDFP insists that The Hague Joint Declaration, the framework agreement that allows the two Parties to meet across the negotiating table, is a “divisive document”.  And the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), as well as the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), are just “confidence-building-measure” agreements.
In the case of the MILF, the GPH negotiating panel attempted to unilaterally replace the duly designated Facilitator before the resumption of the formal talks in February 2011.  And, in the last GPH peace proposal presented to the MILF on 22 August 2011, the GPH panel has practically derogated all signed agreements or documents including the historic Tripoli Agreement of Peace of 2001.
Secretary Deles should learn to build from previously signed agreements/documents instead of obstructing the peace negotiations from moving forward by attempting to reverse or nullify previous agreements and impose her will on the processes.