September 29, 2016


Los Angeles– The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) stood firm on keeping the 10,000-strong New People’s Army even if they reach a peace agreement with the government, their chief negotiator said Thursday.


The Alliance-Philippines based in the United States is supporting this NDFP stand on the current peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) especially in regards to this matter.

The NPA could “cooperate” with the military “in the service of the Filipino people,” said Luis Jalandoni, who heads the rebels’ peace panel.

“We are firm on that. No disbandment, no disarmament because the NPA has been serving the people in so many ways,” he told a forum in Manila. Jalandoni said negotiators could consider “different possibilities of integration” by NPA combatants into the military.

Sad Experience, Discrimination of the MNLF14089139_10153728563476750_2935731706573616610_n

But he cited cases of “discrimination” against former Moro fighters absorbed by the military after the 1996 peace agreement between the the Moro National Liberation Front and the US-Ramos Regime in 1996.

The Alliance Philippines cited the sad experience of the MNLF when it was “integrated with the AFP” and they were made as cannon fodder against the MILF in Central Mindanao and also against the Abu Sayaff Group in Sulu that caused wide dissatisfaction among the MNLF integrees.

This is besides the discrimination they suffered during the so-called integration being treated as “second class’ soldiers in the AFP.

“It is essential for us that the integrity and unity of the New People’s Army remain under the command of the Communist Party of the Philippines,” Jalandoni said.

Peace Agenda in Oslo, Norway

Both sides hope to hammer out a deal within a year, ending decades of armed insurgency that has killed around 150 ,000 people in the 47 years of armed conflict.

But first they have to hurdle the most crucial phase of the negotiation, which seeks to address the root causes of the armed conflict.

They will tackle socio-economic reforms such as free land distribution and the nationalization of 21 industries when talks resume in Oslo, Norway next week.

They will also formalize the bilateral ceasefire between the NDFP and the GPH, its mechanism and monitoring and also steps to speed up the talks.

“We have high hopes but we know there’s a lot of work to be done,” Jalandoni said.



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