• Communists asking for the moon in peace talks

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    RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

    PRESIDENT Duterte obviously got so fed up that he ended the peace talks with the communists because of their New People’s Army’s unceasing attacks against government forces. The recent ambush by the NPA of a Presidential Security Guard convoy in Davao was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    That decision is for the better, as it dismantles the illusion, propagated not just by the communists but also by Duterte’s negotiators, that the peace talks are proceeding well, that peace is at hand.

    The reality is that the Communist Party of the Philippines through its marionette it calls the National Democratic Front has been asking for the moon, making impossible demands on government for them to lay down their arms.

    Is that Mao’s (or Lin Biao’s) reincarnation? Communists with their spokesman in their jungle camp.

    If he agrees to the communists’ demand, Duterte will be impeached, since by doing so he is committing what isn’t his to commit: For the independent Congress to repeal or pass certain laws, according to the communists’ wishes.

    If by some miracle the government repeals the laws the communists want repealed, the result would be economic Armageddon for the country. This might even be what the communists want, since the country would be in such chaos as a result that it could grab power and establish its one-party dictatorship.

    Peruse some of the communists’ demands in its negotiations with government, and you will be shocked, and even angry why Duterte’s negotiators haven’t been revealing these to the public:

    • The creation of a “new political authority”—a euphemism for the communists’ joint control of government—which will be empowered to implement the agreed-upon economic and social reforms;

    • The participation of the New People’s Army and its front organizations in the rural areas in the implementation of land reform;

    • The total banning of all imports of agricultural and fish products;

    • The repeal of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), Investors Lease Act, Agriculture and Fisheries
    Modernization Act (AFMA), Fisheries Code, Mining Act, Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA);

    • The termination of all bilateral investment treaties and agreements, bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs), and agreements under the multilateral World Trade Organization (WTO);

    • The “dismantling of import-dependent and export-oriented” companies—which assemble computer chips and other information-technology products that make up 40 percent of our exports;

    • The repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and all bilateral and regional free trade agreements such as the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement and agreements under the World Trade Organization;

    • For commercial banks to allot at least 50 percent of their loanable funds to “priority and key industrial projects” that will be identified by the communists;

    • The repeal of the law on the automatic appropriation for the public portion of the foreign debt service;

    • Prohibition on the ejectment of squatters until after they are provided “with housing and utilities, employment or livelihood, and social services in the area of resettlement”;

    • Scrapping of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act;

    • A ban on “advertisements and the airtime” that spread “colonial mentality, foreign worship, consumerism, and other similarly objectionable values”;

    • The take-over by government of the Philippine National Bank;

    • The restriction of foreign equity in all enterprises to 40 percent;

    • The abolition of value-added taxes and excise taxes on basic goods and services;

    • The institution of capital controls “to promote financial stability” and stabilize the peso’s international value; and

    • The cancellation of foreign debts that are “onerous or fraudulent”.

    Capital flight

    In short, the communists are mainly demanding that government reverse nearly all of its economic reforms in the past several decades, as embodied in laws passed by more than a dozen Congresses. It is shocking to think that these communists, isolated from the country in Utrecht or in our godforsaken jungles, see themselves as expert economists who know how an economy should be developed.

    If the Duterte government agrees to undertake just one of these demands, the result would be a deadly blow to the country’s image of economic stability, which in turn would trigger such a total loss of confidence in our economy, resulting in massive capital flight.

    These demands are contained in the so-called Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (Caser) it had submitted to government negotiators. Our negotiators and the communists, even as they have been blabbering continuously about the Caser, have refused to release it to the public. I managed to get my copy only through my sources.

    Our panel have fallen into the communists’ plot to portray the Caser as the embodiment of their noble agenda to undertake reforms that would uplift the country’s poor.

    Secretary Jesus Dureza, the presidential adviser on the peace process, has even been trying to get government agencies to support the Caser, saying that “it will address the problems that lead to armed conflict – landlessness, poverty and inequality.”

    Haven’t our negotiators been consulting with Duterte’s economic managers to find out what they think of such provisions in the Caser, such as restricting all foreign investments to just 40 percent (current laws allow as much as full foreign ownership in industries not restricted by the Constitution), imposition of capital controls, and the scrapping of economic bilateral agreements? Or have they been spending too much time wining and dining with the communists, exchanging jokes with them in Norway and the Netherlands?

    What is so shocking in the Caser is its Section 6 of Part VI: “This Agreement shall be binding upon the GRP and the NDFP and their respective successors. Any change in the form of the political structure, government and authority within the GRP shall not affect the validity and binding nature of this Agreement.”

    Future Presidents

    How can the communists demand that an agreement which Duterte would sign should be honored and implemented by all future presidents and by prime ministers, in case the country shifts to a parliamentary form of government?

    It actually requires only a modicum of knowledge of our political system for our negotiators to stop spending about P100 million monthly in the peace talks and end these, and for them to tell the communists that they are living in dreamland, and for them to wake up.

    What the communists are asking for is not what Duterte can give, nor even promise to give: For the Congress, which is an independent branch of government, to pass laws that would repeal what the communists don’t like and enact laws they think would further the revolution.

    Read the Caser (email me if you want a copy) and if you’ve been a student of the communist movement (or a member as I had been), you will see that it is entirely based on the view that Communist Party founder Jose Sison presented in 1968—plagiarized from the writings of Mao Zedong and Indonesian communist chief Aidit—that the Philippines is a “semi-colonial and semi-feudal” country.

    In fact, the Caser openly claims that in entering into the agreement, the NDF is guided by the “Guide for Establishing the People’s Democratic Government and the Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution of the Communist Party of the Philippines.” Both documents were made in 1968 – or 40 years ago. For the communists, nothing at all has changed in the country’s economy, and Sison’s (or more accurately, Mao’s) godlike vision is still applicable to our country in this day and age.

    And here’s what’s also shocking. Sison, who wrote Caser, demands that it be signed first before the communists agree to a ceasefire. There in fact is the following provision in the Caser, in its Section 3, Article VI: “The Parties agree that, irrespective of the course and outcome of the peace negotiations, the provisions of this Agreement that uphold the economic, social and cultural rights of the people shall remain in force and in effect.”

    Idiocy

    What idiocy is this? The communists are demanding that Caser be signed as one of the conditions for them to agree to a peace pact. Yet, they are saying that even if the peace talks fall through – say, if the NPA decides to launch a full-scale attack on government forces – the Caser will remain in force?

    Yet still another shocking provision in the Caser, in its very last section: Section 7. “To enhance and strengthen the legal and moral force and effect of this Agreement, the representatives of the governments hosting the formal negotiations as well as those of the UN Secretary General, the UN Economic and Social Council and the UN Commission on Human Rights shall sign this Agreement as witnesses upon the signing of the same by the negotiating panels of both Parties.”

    What lunacy is this? The communists in effect are demanding that the government treats the Caser as an agreement between two states, as witnessed by the UN!

    For making such impossible and even absurd demands, these communists in Utrecht led by Sison are getting senile, and enjoying themselves with the fantasy that they have won the revolution, and are now outlining what their “coalition government” would be doing.

    Or, they are so wily that the peace talks give their NPA the opportunity to strengthen itself, with the publicity making it more frightening that it will be easier for them to extort more money—reputedly P1.5 billion annually—from helpless businesses and landlords in our rural hinterlands,

    While thousands of Filipinos in the country are getting killed yearly in their now irrelevant attempt at revolution.

    PDF file of CASER:

    CASER

    Email: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
    Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
    Twitter: @bobitiglao

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