By SHERWIN DE VERA
with reports from DAVID VILLEGAS
TUGUEGARAO CITY — Religious groups advocating social justice and peace said the killing of National Democratic Front consultant Randy Malayao is a blow to the peace negotiations.
In their Feb. 6 statement, the church group noted that Malayao’s murder along with the arrests of other peace consultants under trumped-up charges aggravates the stumbling blocks to the possible resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and NDFP.
“Ang pagpaslang kay Malayao na aktibong lumalahok sa usapang pangkapayapaan at tumutulong upang bigyang solusyon ang ugat ng kahirapan at armadong labanan sa ating bansa ay hindi makatarungan at labag sa kalooban ng Diyos (The killing of Malayao who actively participated in the peace talks and helps in providing solution to the roots of poverty and armed conflict in the country is an injustice and is against God’s will),” Cagayan Valley Regional Ecumenical Assembly (CAVREA) Vice-Chairperson Rev. Ronnie Allan Manuel said.
Meanwhile, Bishop Felixberto Calang the main convenor of Sowing the Seeds of Peace
and core group of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) said that Malayao’s death “leaves a gaping hole in peace process and threatens peace advocates.”
“His murder, like the bullets that riddled his body while asleep, punctures through the peace process,” the prelate said.
He underscored that Malayao’s death “threatens the spirit of civility and dialogue that is supposed to be the atmosphere in the peace talks, even as battles may continue to rage on the ground.”
Calang said the murder is a direct threat to those engaged in this dialogue and emphasizes the need for civilian supremacy over militarist and extrajudicial solutions.
“We believe it is supposed to be the shared principle of the GRP and NDFP that politics controls the gun, and not the other way around. It is therefore extremely disturbing that negotiators have a gun pointed on their heads. One just recently triggered fatal bullets on Randy,” he added. # nordis.net