Filipino workers strongly reject President Rodrigo Duterte’s termination of the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
Such termination of a generally productive and progressing peace negotiations only serve to benefit the US monopoly capitalists, foreign and local big businesses, landlords and warmongers in his cabinet and the Armed Forces of the Philippines who have long opposed Filipino workers and people’s aspiration for national and social liberation and for a just and lasting peace.
By terminating the peace talks, the Duterte administration has also terminated hopes of forging socio-economic reforms that would address the ever worsening poverty among Filipino workers and people which spawned the almost five decade long armed conflict in the country.
Filipino workers have always looked forward the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) in high hopes that workers’ demands would be addressed, especially after the Duterte administration’s failure to fulfill its promise of ending the widespread contractualization in the country and in implementing a substantial wage hike through a National Minimum Wage.
We also reject the Duterte administration’s all-out war against the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the NDFP. History have proven that these fascists military campaigns only result in gross human rights violations against workers and peasants who are being targeted by brutal attacks by the AFP.
The collapse of both parties’ unilateral ceasefire declarations was a result of the AFP’s violation of its own ceasefire through continuous military offensives under the counter insurgency campaign Oplan Bayanihan. During the duration of the ceasefire, unionists have also been subjected to the AFP’s psywar operations highlighted by the threats and harassment of its operatives against Antonio “Ka Tony” Begornia, secretary general of the Alliance of Nationalists and Genuine Labor Organizations (ANGLO-KMU).
Duterte also failed to fulfill his promise and to comply with the GRP’s obligations to release the more than 400 political prisoners in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Among the political prisoners that Duterte failed to release are unionists who in the first place should have not been detained and persecuted for asserting workers’ rights and welfare.
We demand that Duterte reject the pressure from peace saboteurs, the US and fascists warmongers in his cabinet and AFP, and revoke his termination of the GRP-NDFP ceasefire.
Duterte should heed the Filipino workers’ and people’s clamor for just and lasting peace by showing utmost sincerity and political will in resuming the GRP-NDFP peace talks and in forging peace agreements that would address the roots of armed conflict in the country.