Statements: On the possible stand down orders for the AFP, NPA & the peace talks

By RENATO REYES, BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN

Lorenzana and the AFP are back to their old tricks.

The AFP makes it appear that they are mere passive actors and bystanders in the armed conflict when they say that they doubt the CPP-NPA’s ability to stand down and stop offensive operations. For peace advocates and human rights groups, the bigger concern right now – a major hindrance to peace – is the intensifying AFP operations against civilians. Communities continue to be militarized. Civilians are being rounded up and forced to “surrender” as NPA combatants. Activists are being arrested and slapped with trumped-up charges. Just recently, long-time union organizer Juan Alexander “Bob” Reyes was arrested in Quezon City for trumped-up charges filed in Agusan.

Peace spoilers within the military are quick to cast doubt on the direction and outcome of the peace talks because they do not believe in a political solution to the armed conflict. They only wish to terrorize the people into submission, a tactic long proven to have failed.

Lorenzana should explain if the militarization of communities will stop once peace talks resume. He should explain if the arrests of civilians including farmers and unarmed activists will cease one peace talks resume. The way we see it, the biggest threats to the resumption of the peace talks comes from the ranks of the military, from the likes of Lorenzana.

Bayan supports the resumption of the peace talks so that the roots of the armed conflict can be addressed. This goes beyond just ceasefire agreements. Socio-economic reforms are urgently needed to address poverty which is the reason why rebellion exists in the country. The release of political prisoners is also needed as compliance with human rights agreements. The people support the negotiations for peace based on justice. The AFP should stop trying to sabotage efforts to revive the talks. # nordis.net

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