July 27, 2010
Aquino III Talks Peace but is close to Talks
Los Angeles- The EPCC NEWS reported today that former Bayan Muna representative and defeated NP guest candidate for senator Satur Ocampo said “ President Benigno Aquino III's spiel on peace talks with the National Democratic Front in his State of the Nation Address practically closed the door on their immediate resumption.
Ocampo also said that while Aquino was more positive about pursuing peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MNLF), he set preconditions for talks with the NDF, Ocampo said in Bacolod City on Monday.
Cory Aquino’s Position on Talks in 1987
Ocampo noted that Aquino went back to the original position taken his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, in 1987 that the government was ready to resume negotiations with the NDF and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) provided they agreed to a long- term ceasefire.
"It's a matter that has been rejected by the NDF since 1987, during the entire period of President Ramos and all throughout," said Ocampo, a former rebel turned legislator.
Ocampo was a former journalist who went underground and joined the rebel movement during the Marcos regime and surfaced after the Edsa People Power Revolution and became an NDF peace negotiator. He was together with Tony Zumel of those who negotiated the 60 days ceasefire in From November 27, 1986 to January 22, 1987.
The 60-day ceasefire between the NDFP and the GRP broke down after the AFP and the police massacred 13 peasants in Mendiola in January 22, 1987. After the peace talks, the AFP launched Oplan Lambat Bitag, the COIN operations against the NPA and the nation turned into a prolonged civil war.
Preconditions are stumbling blocks
"President Aquino should have known that is a stumbling block to the resumption of peace negotiations. Putting it forward as another pre-condition is practically closing the possibility to peace negotiations resuming immediately," Ocampo added.
Aquino, during his State of the Nation Address on Monday, challenged the CPP-NPA to come forward with concrete proposals and not just make criticisms.
He did not refer to previous negotiations where there was already a comprehensive agreement with respect to human rights based on International Humanitarian laws that should be implemented.
“The question is, is Aquino setting an entirely new approach to the peace talks? Because if that is so, we have a problem,” Ocampo added.
Ocampo said that while Aquino disclosed in his SONA that three extrajudicial killings under his administration were nearly solved, he did not go deeper into the core issue of the United Nations Alstons report that pinpointed the Armed Forces of the Philippines as mainly responsible for the killings of militants and activists under Oplan Bantay Laya.