After 18 years,
GRP-NDFP peace talks to discuss land reform, national
By NDFP Media Group
October 5, 2016
MANILA – On the eve
of the resumption of the second round of peace negotiations, the
National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) expressed hopes
that after 18 years, land reform and national industrialization will
finally be discussed by both parties.
The NDFP said that social
and economic reforms, described as the “meat of the peace process,”
will be the focus of the second round of peace negotiations set to
take place in Oslo, Norway from October 6-10, 2016.
Last month, the NDFP
exchanged with the GRP a proposed “framework and outline” for the
Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), the
second substantive item in the agenda of the peace negotiations
according to the framework agreement set by The Hague Joint
Declaration of 1992.
“After almost two decades
and two major economic crises, the 1997 Asian regional crisis and the
2008 world financial crisis, the two panels have yet to discuss a key
crisis-protection agreement,” says NDFP consultant and Reciprocal
Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER)
vice-chairperson Alan Jazmines.
Jazmines said that the NDFP
draft on social and economic reforms, which includes land reform and
national industrialization as the “center of gravity” of the talks,
has been prepared for discussion since 1998.
“Now, we have updated our
CASER draft especially in light of the worsening economic crisis
brought about by neoliberal policies. However, land reform and
national industrialization is still the main content of our proposal
because of these twin economic development strategies’ proven
resilience to the crisis of globalization,” Jazmines said.
“Land reform and national
industrialization are inseparable from one another,” Jazmines said
adding, “the agriculture sector advances national industrialization,
and national industrialization develops the agriculture and
consequently uplifts the crisis-ridden economy of the country.”
NDFP consultant and RWC-SER
member Randall Echanis reiterated that “the NDFP proposal on social
and economic reforms is a product of consultations with revolutionary
forces, grassroots organizations of the toiling masses of farmers and
workers, professionals, and patriotic businessmen.”
“While we expect lively and
contentious discussions on CASER, we also hope that both parties are
strong-willed enough to overcome differences in order to solve the
armed conflict at its roots,” Echanis said.
According to the NDFP
proposal, the main CASER objectives are: a) carry out agrarian reform
and national industrialization; b) advance the rights of exploited,
oppressed, discriminated and disadvantaged sectors of society; c)
uphold, protect, defend and promote economic sovereignty; and d)
conserve the national patrimony and protect the environment.