BAGUIO CITY — In astatement last June 17, the Communist Party of the Philippines said that President Rodrigo Duterte’s cancelation of the scheduled resumption of peace negotiations this month is “primarily in consideration of the AFP’s ongoing campaign plan for all-out military offensive” and allow the state forces to “complete its military campaign plan for 2018.”
We would like to emphasize this week, the relevance of the peace talks to indigenous peoples. There is no better time, with the worsening plight of indigenous peoples, especially indigenous activists, grassroots organisations and communities asserting self-determination.
For the nth time, President Duterte unilaterally suspended the GRP-NDF peace negotiations. And for some dubious reasons – the need to consult with the bigger peace table (public); to hold the talks in the country and not in a foreign venue.
Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza is too quick to hurl accusations of irresponsible journalism against news outfits that reported that Norway would no longer be the third-party facilitator for peace talks between the government and communist rebels.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said a few days ago, “It would be best for the DND and the AFP to concentrate on the defense of the Philippines from China and the US that are now increasing their military activities in our territories instead of trying to sabotage the peace talks that can pave the way for a just and lasting peace and uplift the lives of majority of Filipinos.”
It is both disappointing and frustrating that the Duterte regime has unilaterally cancelled the scheduled start of the stand-down ceasefire on June 21 and the resumption of formal talks in the peace negotiations in Oslo a week later on June 28.
A welcome and laudable development on the peace process is evolving. On separate occasions, the Government of the Philippines (GPh) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) announced the possible signing of an interim peace agreement anytime soon.
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.
MANILA–Kabataan Partylist condemns President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to have Professor Jose Maria Sison killed if the peace talks between the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) fail.
In a resolution passed on April 16 and transmitted to the DOJ on April 17, ths Sagada town council asked DOJ to drop from the list Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur for IPs; Joan Carling, Co-convener of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group on Sustainable Development of the United Nations; Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation; Atty. Jose Molintas Human Rights Lawyer and a former member of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Windel Bolinget, Joanna Cariño and Jeanette Ribaya-Cawiding, leaders of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance.
Representatives of people’s organization (PO), non-government organization (NGO), local government units and the Office of the Presidential Adviser of the Peace Process (OPAPP) agreed that a continued peace negotiation is key to the resolution of the armed conflict in the country during a peace and development forum last May 2.
In the early days of the Duterte administration, there were high hopes that the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) will soon find resolution to the root causes of the almost five decade armed revolution waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA).