By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Katribu Indigenous People’s Partylist 1st nominee Beverly Longid said they welcome the re-extension of the ceasefire between the Government of the Philippines (GPh) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to January 15.
However, she said that although they are glad that both parties agreed to lengthen the number of the days for the ceasefire period, they still strongly encourage the GPh and NDFP to continue the peace talks.
She added that the extended ceasefire for clarification should not take the place of the regular peace negotiations.
On January 3, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) according to its website announced to all units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and revolutionary organizations that the ceasefire that was agreed on by the GPh and NDFP from December 20, 2012 to January 2, 2013 is extend to January 15.
“This declaration is being issued upon recommendation of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) after being belatedly informed of the formal order by the president of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPh) Benigno Aquino III extending the suspension of offensive military and police operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP),” the announcement stated.
The CPP earlier declared the lifting of ceasefire on January 2 after observing that the GPh failed to comply with the agreement last December 17-18 to extend its own ceasefire order to January 15. The said agreement was contained in the Press Communique authenticated by the Royal Norwegian Ambassador Ture Lundh.
According to the NDFP, a facsimile of the GPh’s Secretary of National Defense was only forwarded at noon time of January 2 a few hours after the CPP ordered the lifting of the ceasefire.
The CPP through NDFP declared ceasefire with the GPh, according to a statement on its website, “it is with the aim of creating favorable conditions for the resumption of peace negotiations being scheduled for January this year.”
Longid said while the ceasefire is taking place, the demand of the IPs for the total pull-out of military troops and PNP forces including paramilitary groups stands. She also said that they are calling for the stop on the recruitment of IP’s into the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU).
“We also continue to raise the issues of militarization of IP communities, of the continuing extra-judicial killings, the vilification of leaders and organizations,” Longid said.
She added that both parties should address the ongoing concerns of encroachment on ancestral lands by destructive projects like large-scale mining companies and mega dams among others.
She reiterated that they call the urgent resumption of peace talks after the ceasefire. # nordis.net