Government Efforts

Political Developments
Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) political leader Jose Maria Sison
questioned a government proposal to appoint former Armed Forces head Gen.
Emmanuel T. Bautista chief government negotiator for potential talks with the CPP.
Sison’s reservations halted progress toward talks. In April the prospect of talks was
revived when Armed Forces Head of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang welcomed CPP
calls to negotiate. However, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the CPP also
claimed that President Aquino was a barrier to peace talks with his focus on negotiating
with Mindanao rebel groups (Philippine Daily Inquirer). A meeting between leaders from
the Filipino House of Representatives and Sison in July in the Netherlands did not lead
to peace talks. The Philippine Star reported that the CPP continued to demand the
release of 16 peace consultants and at least 200 political prisoners (The Philippine
Star). The government continued to arrest CPP leaders, including the second-incommand.
In December the government announced a new approach to negotiating with the
Communists, no longer looking to Sison, but instead dealing directly with NPA military
leaders (The Standard). The announcement followed a 12-day Christmas and New
Year’s ceasefire agreed to by the government and the CPP.
2014 :
The chairman and the secretary general of the CPP/NPA (Benito and Wilma Tiamzon,
respectively) were arrested in March. A protest was held in July to encourage the
resumption of peace talks between the CPP/NPA and the government. In December the
NDFP announced its willingness to take part in peace talks, but requested the release
of NDFP consultants and 500 political prisoners in advance, while expressing
reservations about the government-proposed ceasefire. At the end of December it was
announced that President Aquino would meet with Jose Maria Sison, NDFP’s chief
political consultant, in an effort to restart peace talks. At the same time, the government
refused to meet any demands as precondition to peace talks, including releasing the
During the meeting of the Regional Development Council of the Davao region, the
CPP/NPA was designated the next major development challenge, as they reportedly
recruited support among residents in 13 per cent of the barangays (villages) in Davao.
The regional government hoped to free all barangays from CPP/NPA influence, reduce
CPP/NPA membership by 80 per cent, and eliminate 90 per cent of rebel violence by
the end of 2016.
2013 In April, during midterm elections, the NPA extorted millions of pesos to buy arms
and ammunition for its 4,000-member force. Talks between the government and the
CPP/NPA/NDFP stalled in February after the parties failed to agree on a joint

2012: The government had stated its goal to find a political resolution of all internal conflicts by 2016. the CPP announced a 10-day ceasefire. while the NDFP insisted on discussing immunity guarantees for their consultants. The NDFP. 2011: For the first time since 2004 peace talks took place between the New Democratic Front and the government in Oslo. agrarian reform and industrialization. which represents the communist rebels in peace negotiations with the Philippine government. The NDFP accused the government of not honouring existing agreements and detaining communist leaders who are covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).” was widely celebrated. Norway. bilateral agreements. although there was no formal ceasefire and violence on the ground persisted. which had signed a peace agreement in 2000. socio-economic organization. which held ad hoc trials for crimes against the people. a splinter group of the NPA. The CPP announced in October that leader Gregorio (Ka Roger) Rosal had died of a heart attack. At June peace talks in Oslo. which transformed the group into an “unarmed. both parties broke the truce before year’s end. and NPA fighters were ordered to help distribute food and water. the military increased efforts to eradicate the New People’s Army (NPA). Benigno Noynoy Aquino III won a landslide victory. journalists and activists. On December 20 the government and the Communist Party/NPA announced the traditional nationwide holiday truce. signed a closure agreement with the government this year. and the release of political prisoners. Following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in November. the government wanted to focus on the use of child soldiers and landmines. Negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) suffered a major setback when the NPA launched a grenade attack against civilians. but acknowledged that it would not meet the June 30 deadline for full . 2010: When presidential elections were held in May. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) recommitted to pushing Aquino out of office and ordered the NPA to intensify armed offensives. despite the existence of strong evidence. The government generally failed to prosecute military personnel implicated in such killings. In the final weeks of Arroyo’s term. which was later extended.declaration regarding national sovereignty. Both parties were accused of gross human rights violations. stated in June and again in December that it would wait for President Aquino to step down before returning to talks and would continue its armed struggle. In May. The Revolution Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP/RPA/ABB). The NPA executed at least two civilians convicted in its so-called People’s Court. Human Rights Watch reported extrajudicial killings and abductions of politicians. The CPP criticized the government for a slow response to the disaster. the government drafted a new framework to guide peace talks. This action. Incumbent president Gloria Arroyo won a seat in Congress.

the controversy after the November massacre of more than 50 political activists did not improve relations between the CPP and the government. Peace talks between the government and CPP/NPA/NDFP were discussed as early as March and scheduled for August in Oslo. officials from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rejected a CPP call for a joint intensified campaign in Mindanao (see Mindanao conflict).eradication set by Arroyo. A CPP statement released early in the year called the prospects for renewed peace talks “dim and nil. the CPP rejected the government’s demand of indefinite ceasefire as a precondition for resuming formal peace talks. provided them with livelihood assistance. In late 2008. a government taskforce released a list of 260 disappearances. indicating military responsibility in 19 cases. the Arroyo government ordered the military to reduce the number of New People’s Army (NPA) rebel bases by 80 per cent by mid-2010. the Aquino government appointed a panel to negotiate with the NPA and assured the rebels that the resumption of peace talks was not conditional on a ceasefire. The NPA agreed to a ceasefire for the Christmas period. Only five of 100 NPA camps were . Five hundred and sixty NPA rebels surrendered their arms.” Nonetheless. immediate financial assistance and remuneration for the surrendered weapons. In October. and no new meetings were scheduled. President Gloria Arroyo’s plan to oust the New People’s Army (NPA) by 2010 got off to a slow start. were condemned by human rights organizations. In November. days before the ceasefire was to go into effect. the parties were said to have a “tactical alliance. In December. abduction and killing of leftist civil society leaders. Although not related to the communist rebels. The powerful Ampatuan clan. accused of organizing “fronts” for the NDFP. introduced by the Arroyo government in 2008. but were blemished by increased violence and accusations of vote-buying. Arroyo stressed the need to terminate the communist insurgency because it was impeding progress and development in different parts of the country. A UN report described the government’s standard explanation for these disappearances and killings (that the CPP was purging itself) as completely baseless and “a cynical attempt to displace responsibility. The Social Integration Program (SIP). an informal meeting between the government and the CPP was held in Norway. reputedly behind the massacre. controlled much of the southern Philippines and was widely believed to have helped President Gloria Arroyo win the 2004 presidential elections. 2009: At the beginning of the year. The talks were later cancelled when the government refused to meet the CPP’s demand to release several communist guerrilla leaders from prison.” 2007 May elections for both houses of Congress as well as provincial and local governments were generally considered free and fair. the government announced a three-year time frame to find a political settlement. the NPA killed 12 people (mostly soldiers) and vowed to continue its revolt.” A group of activists known as the Tagaytay Five were released after a court found their 2006 arrest and detainment unlawful. In December. 2008 : he persecution. but on December 14.

Arroyo attempted to revive an anti-subversion law that would punish membership in the NPA. Accusations of political killings and kidnappings of leftist activists brought international condemnation. Late in the year.dismantled in the first half of the year. The government passed a law abolishing the death penalty in June. President Gloria Arroyo declared that she would run in the May 2004 presidential election. NPA rebels rejected as a political ploy an amnesty offer from the government. the Philippine government and rebels met for peace talks in Oslo. President Gloria Arroyo survived a year of political scandals involving electoral fraud and corruption. 2001 In April. . the opposition filed an impeachment complaint against Arroyo. The President’s political troubles hampered peace negotiations. Semproso (alias Ka Omar) surrendered.) toward military and logistical efforts. the opposition argued that the law would impede human rights. President Gloria Arroyo declared a one-week state of emergency after a coup attempt. 2002 The United States provided military support and training to the Philippine military in Operation Shoulder to Shoulder. The national police deployed 500 plainclothes police officers or Secret Marshals in response to the NPA’s refusal to observe the traditional Christmas truce. terrorist organizations list. 2003 Efforts to resolve the conflict continued alongside outbreaks of violence. discussions took place between the opposition and the CPP on a possible alliance.S. Congress dismissed impeachment calls in September. which stepped up security measures against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA). the negotiations stalled after the rebels killed a congressman.S. 2004 Official talks between the government and the communist rebels were “indefinitely” suspended by the rebels in August because the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) remained on the U. CPP-NPA leader Delfin de Guzman (alias Rafael Cruz) was arrested and party organizer Eutequio A. 2006 In February. The Philippines was designated a major non-NATO ally of the United States in May. 2005 The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) refused to engage in peace talks with the Philippine government as long as the CPP/NPA remained listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. putting $19-million (U. The government announced an intensified campaign against the communist insurgents.S. both of which were placed on the U. Pones (alias Ka Chong Uy) and his assistant Danilo M. In November. government’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. In June. In June.

1996 Peace talks between the government and the NDFP remained stalled.2000 The peace process remained stalled. 1995 In Brussels in June. 1999 Peace talks between the government and rebels were suspended in May after the Senate endorsed the Visiting Forces Agreement. forces to conduct joint military exercises with their Filipino counterparts. the government suspended more than two years of peace talks with Netherlands-based National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) leaders. 1997 In November. allowing U. The government did reach a peace settlement in October with military rebels who had attempted seven coups between 1987 and 1990. formal peace talks between the NDFP and the government collapsed immediately after they started. . the government postponed planned peace talks.S. 1998 A month after newly elected President Joseph Estrada signed an August human rights accord with communist rebels.

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