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Why the CPP and NPA are not Terrorist Organizations

3. September 2002

Statement of the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) Negotiating Panel, Utrecht, Netherlands

We, the panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) negotiating with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), wish to inform the public in the Netherlands and the whole of Europe that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People´s Army (NPA) are not terrorist organizations, contrary to the claims of the US government.

The CPP and NPA are highly responsible political organizations. They are major allied organizations within the NDFP, which so far the US government has not designated as “terrorist” organization. They are revolutionary organizations fighting for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes in the Philippines. In extensive areas of the country, they undertake programs of mass mobilization, public education and literacy, health and sanitation, land reform, raising production, self-defense, cultural activities and so on.

The CPP has been guided by the Program for a People´s Democratic Revolution since 1968. And the NPA is bound clearly by the Rules of the New People´s Army, including strict rules of discipline. All the revolutionary forces represented by the NDFP, including the CPP and NPA, are bound by the Bill of Rights in the Guide for Establishing the People´s Democratic Government, which serves as the constitution of the provisional revolutionary government.

Under international law, the NDFP and all the organizations within its fold have assumed responsibilities for upholding human rights and humanitarian law by depositing with the Swiss Federal Council on 5 July 1996 the NDFP National Council Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I of l977.

The NDFP, including the CPP and NPA, has been engaged in peace negotiations with the GRP in Europe since 1992, with the governments of The Netherlands, Belgium and Norway acting at various times as facilitators. These peace negotiations are still in progress under the facilitation of the Norwegian government but are now threatened and assailed by the US in trying to carry out a witch-hunt for “terrorists” within the ranks of the NDFP.

In 1997 and 1999, the European Parliament approved resolutions dealing fairly and even-handedly with the GRP and NDFP as political entities in order to endorse, encourage and support their peace negotiations. Attached hereto are said resolutions, EP Resolution No. B4-0601, 0645 and 0686/97 dated 17 July 1997 and EP Resolution no. B-4, 1096, 1106, 1147, 1158 and 1160/98 dated 14 January 1999.

In the course of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, the principals of the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels have mutually approved a series of ten agreements, including the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) in 1998. The GRP and the NDFP have thereby bound themselves to comply with the principles and standards of respect for human rights and humanitarian conduct in the civil war in the Philippines. Both sides in the armed conflict are required to prevent, avoid and combat acts of terrorism against the civilian population and the hors de combat.

Since their respective founding days in 1968 and 1969, the CPP and NPA have been dedicated to uphold, defend and advance the national and democratic rights and interests of the people. In this connection, as a matter of revolutionary principle and practice, they are necessarily against terrorism. It is of decisive importance that they maintain and develop the participation and support of the people in the revolution and that they use their limited weapons judiciously and precisely against the enemies of the people.

In stark contrast to the CPP, NPA and other revolutionary forces, the GRP and all its armed forces like the AFP, PNP, CAFGU, deputized private armies and death squads commit gross human rights violations on a wide scale against the people, especially the workers and peasants. The records of Amnesty International and other human rights organizations show such rampant human rights violations under the auspices of state terrorism, overshadowing the claims of the GRP against the CPP and NPA.

The aforementioned armed forces use bombs from airplanes, artillery fire, flame-throwers and strafing by rifle fire to attack communities and force them to evacuate. They kill upon sight the leaders and active members of legal mass organizations. They torture and murder suspected revolutionaries and those they capture from the battlefield. In contrast, the NPA applies a lenient policy towards its captives, sharing food with them, giving medical care to the sick and wounded and voluntarily releasing ordinary enemy soldiers in good condition.

After negotiations with the GRP, the NDFP has caused the release of ranking prisoners of war from the custody of the NPA to the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who in turn pass on the released prisoners to responsible GRP officials and families. The whole world knows how the NPA has been able to capture enemy officers, from the rank of general to sergeants, and released them, with no other consideration but the reciprocal release of political prisoners held by the GRP.

In the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, the NDFP has been the more resolute and vigorous side in demanding the forging and implementation of CARHRIHL. To this day, the NDFP insists that the Joint Monitoring Committee be formed immediately under CARHRIHL in order to have a channel for complaints on alleged violations of CARHRIHL by any side so that the separate and joint implementation of CARHRIHL can become more effective. The Joint Monitoring Committee is provided for by the CARHRIHL as the instrument for preventing, investigating and taking action against human rights violations and acts of terrorism.

If they were to follow subserviently the US government in designating the CPP and NPA as “terrorist” organizations, criminalizing them and taking punitive actions against those suspected of being connected to such organizations, the European Union and particular European governments are liable to run counter to the above-cited 1997 and 1999 resolutions of the European parliament, destroy the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, prejudice all the ten agreements already forged in these negotiations and extend the witch-hunt for “terrorists” beyond the CPP and NPA.

In fact, our chief political consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison, who is a recognized political refugee under the protection of the Refugee Convention and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (EVRM), is already being condemned and assailed as a “terrorist” and is being subjected to punitive actions, including the freezing of his small personal bank account.

The hysterical “anti-terrorist” official pronouncements and actions of US and European governments as well as the mass media campaign against the CPP, NPA and Prof. Sison are destroying the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and inflaming the civil war in the Philippines. In fact and in effect, the US is already misrepresenting the NDFP and all the panelists, consultants and staffers of the NDFP negotiating panel as “terrorists”.

The vile propaganda in the so-called conservative mass media is that there are thirty “terrorists” in Utrecht, Netherlands. Such demonization of so many Filipinos is a preparation for further attacks. It is only a matter of time that the US will malign the NDFP as a “terrorist” organization.

Under the pretext of anti-terrorism, the US is whipping up the repressive and fascist principles of preemptive punishment, guilt by association, executive action in lieu of judicial process and the like. The GRP-NDFP peace negotiations are doomed if the European governments follow the state terrorism and fascism that the U.S. spreading globally.

We, the undersigned NDFP negotiating panel, urge the broad masses of the people and all just and reasonable forces to appeal to the European Union and particular European governments to respect the democratic rights of the overseas Filipinos, especially the Filipino progressives who are desirous of national liberation and democracy for the Filipino people, and to cease and desist from witch-hunting our panelists, consultants, staffers and supporters and from intimidating entire Filipino communities.

Source: NDFP Negotiating Panel