15 June 2016
Victims of human rights violations and kin: RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS! RESUME PEACE TALKS! RESOLVE THE ROOTS OF ARMED CONFLICT!
WE ARE citizens who have experienced human rights violations since the Marcos dictatorship until the departing Noynoy Aquino administration. We know what persecution, torture, deprivation of liberty, forced separation from family, and isolation from society mean. We are former political prisoners who have survived to tell our stories.
Today, we are joined by kith and kin, other victims of rights violations, and justice advocates, to urge the release of all political prisoners who have been enduring injustice and suffering state brutality because they fought a war against slavery and poverty, elitism and greed, subservience to foreign interests, and unfreedom.
They must all be freed.
Today, as we press for the release of 509 political prisoners languishing in jails all over the country, we are encouraged by the declaration and intention of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to do so. We are completely behind him to right what all the past presidents did wrong.
Releasing all political prisoners, especially the 18 consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, will absolutely create a positive climate for the resumption of the peace talks. There is no way that granting freedom to citizens who have been wrongfully arrested, jailed, and slapped with trumped-up charges will not encourage peace. This much-awaited milestone act of statesmanship by the President-elect, once realized, will what shall initiate closure to many instances of injustice.
Together with the freed political prisoners and all our families and organizations, we stand foursquare behind the peace process in search of solutions to the root causes of the war that has long raged in our country.
We warn the diehards of the withering Noynoy Aquino regime and all saboteurs not to sow intrigues, not to redtag, and not to disrupt and derail the release of political prisoners and the success of the peace negotiations.
We, the people, shall overcome!