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The CPP-NDF-NPA Peace Process was the official peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), along with the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the armed wing of the CPP, the New People's Army (NPA). This was first agreed when President Corazon C. Aquino met with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the final stages of the Cold War. Gorbachev promised to Aquino that the reformed, democratic USSR would assist the country in reaching out communist rebels. The initial peace processes started in the late 90s but were hampered by President Joseph Estrada's "all out war" against the NPA and Islamic rebels called the MNLF. The NPA was listed as part of the U.S. State Department's Terror Watch List; this increased after the September 11 attacks and the War on Terror. The talks would drag on to nearly 20 years before finally reaching a historical agreement in a peace agreement mediated by the Norwegian government in Oslo, Norway in February 22, 2014. As part of the agreement, the NPA would lay down their arms without incident and farmers in the provinces of the Philippines would be assisted by the government via agrarian and land reforms. Additionally, the CPP, NDF, and the labor union group called the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1st Movement) can run for politics providing they drop the values of communism for a more democratic reforms. Subsequently, the U.S. State Department and FBI removed the NPA from the terror list as the rebel organization dissolved after the historic agreement.
|Communist Insurgency in the Philippines|
|Part of Cold War, War on Terror, Civil Conflict in the Philippines|
Location of primary communist activities in the Philippines
| Philippines || Communist Party of the Philippines |
See: CPP-NDF-NPA conflict for more information.
The conflict can trace its roots from World War II when Communist resistance fighters known as the Hukbhalahap fought against the occupying Japanese forces. After the war, the Huks would fight the newly independent Philippine government. The first insurgency ended in 1954 when Huk Leader Luis Taruc surrendered to government forces in 1954.
Under the presidency of Ferdinand E. Marcos, a staunch anti-communist, a new communist insurgency started in 1969 when the New People's Army started attacking towns and villages across the archipelago. The NPA were responsible for the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombings that caused Marcos to declare Martial Law on September 1972. From the 1970s to the 1980s, the military and police would continue to fight the NPA across the country. Both sides allegedly committed atrocities on the civilian population. In February 1986, Marcos was overthrown in the People Power Revolution. With Cory Aquino as president, she pardoned several CPP and NPA, releasing them from prison and started to negotiate for peace, with diplomatic assistance from the newly reformed Soviet Union. However, under the administration of Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada, the peace process would be hampered as the NPA renewed their offensive against government forces.
By 2002, U.S. Special Forces arrived in the Philippines to conduct operations against terrorist groups as a result of 9/11. By the 2010s, the administration of Benigno Aquino III would seek out rapprochement with the NPA. Despite this, skirmishes with rogue NPA fighters continued to occur in the rural areas. Casaulties were reported among government soldiers and police officers, in which these rogue NPAs attack military or police convoys.
After four years of negotiations, the final peace process was laid out in February 22, 2014 in Oslo, Norway in which reforms to farmers were made, the NPA laying down their arms, and CPP running for elections providing they drop their communist cause. The New People's Army was dissolved, with majority of its fighters going back to civilian life. The longest running insurgency in Asia finally ended after 45 years.
The following states served as mediators to the peace process:
- The Netherlands
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Soviet Union
Australia, Brunei, Japan, Norway, and the Netherlands is also part of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) for the Mindanao Peace Process.