We do not need CASER -- Galvez
“CASER is based on an obsolete framework and is no longer relevant since it is largely based on the pre-industrialization and pre-globalization era. It is a formula for the surrender of the national government’s integrity as well as the state’s sovereignty,” Galvez said. He also described the CASER as an “irrelevant proposition and simply a copycat of the programs of the CPP-NPA-NDF” as outlined in the plagiarized content of Jose Maria Sison's publication "Philippine Society and Revolution.” “The CASER insists that the Philippine Government surrender its sovereignty and trample on its own integrity by forcing upon the state outmoded and erroneous concepts that were conceived more than half a century ago,” Galvez said. The peace adviser pointed out that adopting the CASER and the Interim Peace Agreement could be likened to committing treason since the programs of the CPP-NPA-NDF based on its own constitution will be implemented across the nation, while the government bends its laws, norms, and other institutional democratic foundations. “In hindsight, most of the CPP-NPA-NDF’s demands are almost impossible to implement mainly because they are totally skewed in favor of the interests of the communist insurgents,” Galvez said. Discussions on the CASER has once again taken center stage, as the communist group’s top leadership has been insisting on its passage as a pre-condition for future talks with the government. Questionable provisions Among these questionable provisions, Galvez said, is the one on Financing National Industrialization, wherein funds for such purpose will be sourced from “confiscated and expropriated assets of foreign monopoly capitalists, big compradors and bureaucrat capitalists.” “First of all, we cannot agree with the language in which this particular provision has been framed. It has been crafted in such a way that we expect it to cast a dark cloud over the nation’s economy,” Galvez said. “And second, such a measure will surely put the country at loggerheads with the international financial community, and consequently, could lead to the weakening and eventual decline of the country’s economic standing in global markets,” he added. “In fact, if we don’t have an insurgency problem, our country’s gross domestic product could even hit double-digit figures,” Galvez said. He noted that another worrisome provision contained in the CASER is the demobilization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which states that the military must stand down its troops across the country. As a former AFP chief of staff, he stressed that it is the armed force’s duty to protect the Filipino people from both external and internal threats, saying, “Clearly, the military shall lose its capability to carry out this crucial function once it is demobilized.” “If the CPP-NPA-NDF does not have any hidden agenda, then why does it want the AFP to demobilize its troops and yet the rebel will not do the same with its armed wing? Since 1992, the CPP-NPA-NDF has not given any indication that they accept the conditions of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of their members,” Galvez emphasized. The CASER, he said, is also advocating for the establishment of a coalition government with the communist group by setting up “programs for the People's Democratic Government..." Galvez said another objectionable provision of the CASER and the proposed Interim Peace Agreement which the CPP-NPA-NDF has been pushing for is the major role the rebel group in endorsing the involvement of the NPA with the "national democratic and people's organizations" which will take part in the implementation of the land reform, and other rural development programs. He said these provisions of the CASER and the Interim Peace Agreement will unwittingly set the stage for power-sharing with the government, explaining that “The provisions will compel the government to accept the rebel group’s belligerency status, while the more serious and objective requirement of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration are being schemingly blocked off by CASER and the Interim Peace Agreement.” "CASER is a product of a secret backchannel maneuver by the communist insurgents. There was zero consultation with the government’s economic team, security forces, local agencies, and local government units, and most importantly, the Filipino people who have suffered the most during this decades-long armed conflict," Galvez pointed out. According to Galvez, CASER is a "perfect formula for sabotaging our current economic gains, will lay to waste the distribution of more than 100,000 hectares of land for our poor farmers, and disregard the significant peace gains achieved under Executive Order No. 70 which created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and institutionalized the Whole-Of-Nation Approach on good governance." According to Galvez, these are among the main reasons why former chief negotiators decided not to compromise with the NDF's terms since it will blatantly surrender our sovereignty and the integrity of our constitution, saying, that the peace talks were based on the wrong framework and grossly disadvantageous to the government. For years, the talks were anchored on the Hague Declaration of 1992, which is being used by the CPP-NPA-NDF to assert their status of belligerency, and the Joint Agreement for Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) of 1995 and Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIL), which have been blatantly abused and violated by the communist insurgents. “CASER will also send our country backward because it contradicts with existing laws, such as the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997. Under CASER, the CPP-NPA-NDF takes away the direct participation of the IPs in issues such as agrarian reform,” Galvez said. Galvez also lambasted the communist group for continually using the peace talks as an opportunity to bring more recruits to their fold, and carry-out criminal activities. At present, 45 provinces, 340 municipalities, 21 cities and 3,229 barangays have already expressed their rejection of the CPP-NPA-NDF and its activities by declaring them “persona non-grata.” In Davao City, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has expressed her opposition to the resumption of peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF. “To believe that they desire a peaceful end to the insurgency problem would be playing ignorant of their bloody habit — how they slaughtered countless civilians in the past and made many countryside communities suffer from poverty and underdevelopment, and blaming the government for it,” Duterte-Carpio said.