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Press Statement
Patricio Ramirez
Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipino
October 12, 2002

The Road to Perdition Not the Path to Peace

The Arroyo regime's demand that the CPP-NPA lay down its arms as a precondition for the resumption of negotiations is meant to scuttle the peace talks. At this stage of the negotiations, no self-respecting revolutionary group will accept such a demand for it is tantamount to capitulation.

The record of successful conflict resolution around the world shows that cessation of hostilities is the consequence not the precondition for peace negotiations. The demobilization and disarming of insurgents occurs after political settlement has been reached and comprehensive reforms are to be implemented.

Thus to demand the laying down of arms now is to lay a roadblock to the path of negotiated political settlement and lay the ground for the intensification of all-out war. President Macapagal-Arroyo and Defense Secretary Reyes are paving the road to perdition not the path to peace. They project themselves as trying hard copycats of the bellicose bunch of Bush and Cheney.

They are not only putting forth an impossible demand to derail the resumption of peace talks but 


also waging a propaganda battle to condition the people's minds for all-out war. President Macapagal-Arroyo's allegation that 95% of the people desire war rather than peace is an out and out lie for the all-out war. It a bedtime story from a president with a penchant for making love while waging war.

While the obstacle to the resumption of peace talks is the Arroyo regime's demand for the laying down of arms, the impediment to the progress of negotiations is likewise the CPP-NPA's framework of using it only to score propaganda points. The protracted peace talks have moved at a snail's pace, if at all, because the GRP and the NDF panels are both insincere.

Neither is truly committed to a framework of negotiated political settlement to the armed rebellion by instituting comprehensive reforms. For the CPP-NPA, such a framework is contradictory to its dogma of the protracted war as the strategy of revolution. For the Arroyo regime, only the framework of surrender is compatible with its agenda of consolidating not reforming the rotten system. ###