Peace agreement can’t be above Constitution

January 08, 2020

Gov’t to extend more goodwill to NDFP but…

DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Eduardo M. Año said the government is “willing” to demonstrate more “goodwill” gesture with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in order to create an atmosphere conducive to the signing of a peace agreement.

In a talk with this writer at his office on Monday, the DILG chief, formerly the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines credited with the arrest of the top leadership of the communist movement, repeated his stand of allowing members and officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in the government once a peace agreement is signed.

During his stint as Army chief and later on as AFP chief, Año opened the military’s door for membership by former NPA fighters who had surrendered to the government.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvester Bello III, the head of the government (GRP) panel, is expected to fly out again to the Netherlands for another round of discussion with NDFP leaders, which is representing the CPP-NPA and other underground communist organizations in the peace talk with the government.

Año said there is also “nothing wrong” if the government “acknowledges” the “help” of the communists in the promotion of good governance thru their many expose about corruption and the causes of social injustice and inequities.

‘Yung tungkol sa land reform, problema sa trabaho, acknowledged natin ang ‘tulong’ nila dun. ‘Yung mga gustong magpulis, magsundalo, walang problema ‘dun,” the DILG chief.

“But,” he added, “any peace agreement cannot be concluded ‘above’ the Constitution… on what our Constitution says.

“The problem is that, they (NDFP) are acting as if they have already ‘won’ and that the terms they are offering are ‘above’ the Constitution.”

The bemedaled official noted that the success of the previous peace agreement the government signed with the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) in 1986, a breakaway NPA group, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1996 and lately, with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), were all premised with the recognition by both parties of the supremacy of the Philippine Constitution.