BRIEF MESSAGES & LETTERS, 2001 - Present
Democratic Front of the Philippines
3 March 2001
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Dear Madam President,
I wish to convey to you the cordial greetings of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and congratulate you for prevailing over the attempt of Mr. Estrada to reverse the political verdict of the broad masses of the people and the broad united front that removed him from power.
We wish to reiterate our appreciation of your declaration to end the all-out war policy of Mr. Estrada and express once more our agreement with your desire to resume the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).
We are encouraged by the fact that you have taken the initiative in designating and authorizing the GRP negotiating panel, consisting of members with experience in the peace negotiations as well as new members. The NDFP National Executive Committee has reciprocated your initiative by designating the NDFP negotiating panel.
We await the GRP team headed by former justice secretary Silvestre Bello III, as chairman of the GRP negotiating panel, to meet with the NDFP team, headed by the chairman of the NDFP negotiating panel, Luis Jalandoni. We anticipate that the meeting of the two teams shall lay the ground for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP negotiations and the revival of agreements previously made.
To enhance the atmosphere for the resumption of the peace negotiations, we urge your office to accelerate the release of the political prisoners in response to the pleas of human rights organizations, churches and the people in general. We continue to be encouraged by your previous assurance through former speaker Jose de Venecia that within a relatively short period of time all political prisoners will be released.
At a certain point, we shall reciprocate your act of goodwill with the release of the prisoners of war in the custody of the New People’s Army in response to the appeal of the humanitarian and peace mission of senator Loren Legarda, bishop Jesus Varela and supreme bishop Tomas Millamena as well as other respected entities.
We consider as opportune the visit made to us by your secretary of agrarian reform and member of the GRP negotiating panel, Hernani Braganza, whom we have requested to carry this letter. We discussed with him in broad strokes the resumption of the peace negotiation.
We share with him the enthusiasm to open as soon as possible the negotiations on social and economic reforms. We agree with him that an indispensable major component of prospective comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms shall be agrarian reform, which was your late father’s serious concern, and which we presume is likewise yours.
We also agree that national efforts at achieving industrial development and social justice have to be pursued in the face of the destructive consequences of the law of the jungle under "free market" globalization, in which the underdeveloped countries are reduced to producing raw materials and a few semimanufactures and are preyed upon by imperialist powers with comprehensive economic, financial, political and military control of the world.
May I now shift to a very particular matter, which concerns the assassination plot directed against me by Mr. Estrada since last year. I wish to request that your police officer, Col. Reynaldo Berroya, be authorized to share completely with us the information available to him so that we can compare this with our own stock of information and establish the fullest possible range of facts for further investigation and action by the appropriate agencies in the Philippines and in the Netherlands.
In concluding, I wish you the best in all efforts to assert national independence, promote democracy, pursue economic development and social justice and achieve a just and lasting peace.
Jose Maria Sison