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Message of Solidarity on the Tenth Anniversary of the Hague Joint Declaration

August 30, 2002

I wish to convey warmest greetings of solidarity to all the sponsors and participants in this forum to commemorate the tenth anniversary of The Hague Joint Declaration, which was signed by representatives of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in The Hague, Netherlands on September 1, 1992.

I am deeply pleased by your act of commemoration, especially because I participated in the forging of this declaration in my capacity as NDFP chief political consultant. I still remember vividly the work that had to be done as well as the circumstances.

Most importantly, the entire Filipino people are gratified that there is a declaration that has made possible the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. They desire a just and lasting peace along the line of national independence and democracy.

The Hague Joint Declaration is the framework agreement for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. It puts forward the attainment of a just and lasting peace as the common goal of the formal peace negotiations. It requires that the negotiations must be in accordance with mutually acceptable principles, including national sovereignty, democracy and social justice and no precondition shall be made to negate the inherent character and purpose of the peace negotiations.

The substantive agenda agreed upon in the declaration includes human rights and international humanitarian law, socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, end of hostilities and disposition of forces. The method is laid down for arriving at tentative agreements on substantive issues in the agreed agenda. Specific measures of goodwill and confidence building are called for to create a favourable climate for peace negotiations.

Since 1992 there has been significant progress in the negotiations between the GRP and NDFP. Ten major agreements have been mutually approved. More could have been accomplished, if not for the obstacles and declarations of collapse, suspension and recess so often thrown in the way of the negotiations by the GRP.

The GRP-NDFP negotiations have been paralysed time and again by attempts of the GRP to violate The Hague Joint Declaration and other agreements and to make the NDFP capitulate. The GRP should recognize by now that the negotiations can be more productive by ceasing and desisting from such attempts and by staying on the course so clearly defined by The Hague Joint Declaration.

Among the mutually approved agreements is the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). It is the first of the four items in the substantive agenda. It is approved by the principals of the negotiating parties and is therefore binding and effective. The commitment of the NDFP and all its allied organized organizations to the CARHRIHL should prevent Ms. Macapagal from mimicking the US bad mouthing of the CPP and NPA as "terrorist" organizations.

Those in the Macapagal regime should denounce first the terrorism of the US in killing 1.4 million Filipinos from 1899 to l914 and demand at least the apology of the US before they start to parrot the US false claim of "terrorism" against any force of the new democratic revolution. Moreover, we should not gloss over the fact that many more Filipinos have suffered the daily violence of imperialist and feudal exploitation.

The NDFP is eager to resume the peace negotiations with the GRP in order to enhance the implementation of the CARHRIHL through the activation of the Joint Monitoring Committee, to continue the negotiations on social and economic reforms and to exchange goodwill and confidence building measures.

As far as the NDFP is concerned, there is no problem about the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations so long as The Hague Joint Declaration and the nine other agreements are respected. The GRP can only sabotage the peace negotiations by adopting certain tactics aimed at violating the aforesaid agreements and securing the capitulation of the NDFP.

The revolutionary forces and people fight even more fiercely for national liberation and democracy whenever they see the Macapagal regime escalating all-out war, talking about indefinite backchanneling and collaborating with the US in a squeeze play on NDFP personnel and friends abroad and legal democratic forces in the Philippines under the pretext of pursuing a global war on terrorism.

Since November 2001, I have been receiving thinly veiled threats from highly placed GRP officials that unless I help to convince the NDFP to capitulate, US authorities would move to eliminate me politically and physically. Such a threat can only drive the revolutionary forces and the people to fight for their own national liberation and democratic rights more resolutely and vigorously than before.

Your forum today is a fitting commemoration of the tenth year of The Hague Joint Declaration inasmuch as you demand the soonest resumption of the peace negotiations in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration and subsequent agreements and at the same time you denounce the attempts of the US and Macapagal regime to lay aside the aforesaid agreements and coerce the revolutionary forces and the people with bloody campaigns of suppression in the name of a global war on terrorism. #

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