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CPP leader bucks Bautista as peace panel chief

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 14, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison has reservations on the reported plan of President Aquino to name former Armed Forces chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista as head of the government panel to negotiate with the Reds.

In statement posted on the website philippinerevolution.net, Sison said Bautista was behind the security plan Bayanihan, which rebels claimed had caused widespread militarization in the countryside.

“Many are saying that naming him (Bautista) as panel chairman will be an insult to the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) and the entire revolutionary forces because he is the self-proclaimed brains behind Oplan Bayanihan,” Sison said.

“NDFP has learned about his brazen military mentality that is not after anything but the surrender of the NPA (New People’s Army),” he added.

Bayanihan is a socio-civic-military approach to addressing the roots of insurgency in the countryside and winning the hearts and minds of the people. The program acknowledges that underdevelopment and lack of access to basic services are fueling the insurgency. The plan also emphasizes the role of civilian sectors in efforts to end armed conflict.

The military believes Bayanihan is succeeding in curbing insurgency but Sison thinks otherwise.

“Bayanihan failed because the NPA has become stronger. If Aquino is serious about the peace negotiations, he should appoint someone who is more competent as chairman of his panel,” Sison said.

Peace talks with the NDFP hit a snag in 2013 after the government rejected a demand by the rebel group to release jailed communist leaders slapped with criminal charges.

ARMED FORCES BAUTISTA BAYANIHAN COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES EMMANUEL BAUTISTA IF AQUINO JOSE MARIA SISON NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES NEW PEOPLE SISON
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