On behalf of the JustPeacePH platform [http://justpeace.ph/about/], we ask for your support to campaign and push for the continuation of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) by:
1. Signing on to the (online) statement: Continue the peace talks, Firm up reforms.
2. Issuing your own statements in support of the continuation of the talks and much needed reforms towards just and lasting peace in the country (please refer to statements below and hereby attached)
3. Conducting information dissemination activities on the issue of attaining just and lasting peace in the Philippines.
Please feel free to forward this message to your friends and network. Thank you so much!
Angie M. Gonzales
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines
Co-Secretariat for JustPeacePH
Continue the peace talks, Firm up reforms
We express our deep disappointment over the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte to terminate the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), especially at a time when both sides have already made substantial, accelerated and historic progress in the negotiations.
In the pursuit of the Filipino people’s aspirations for economic development, social justice, genuine democracy and lasting peace, we strongly urge Pres. Duterte to reconsider and push on with the peace talks.
The just-concluded Third Round of talks in Rome, made accelerated progress in the discussion of each panel’s versions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER). Both sides recognized the problem of landlessness and rural poverty, and they agreed in principle to the free distribution of land to farmers and farm workers. This is a historic first in any Philippine administration and in the 30-year history of the talks. This is also a first in any peace negotiation in the world! They also agreed to continue discussions and to forge other agreements on national industrialization, economic development, and environmental protection.
During the Third Round, the two sides also exchanged complete drafts for a proposed agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms. They exchanged views on the proposal for a federal form of government and the need for certain constitutional guarantees and safeguards demanded by the people.
The two sides then agreed to meet again for a Fourth Round of talks in April, in Oslo, Norway. They vowed to continue working on the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement for Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), and to unify their versions of the agreements on social and economic reforms and that on political and constitutional reforms.
The historic gains achieved thus far in the peace talks, coupled with the festering poverty, social inequity and injustice, and trampling on the rights of the Filipino people are more than sufficient compelling reasons to trudge forward on the path to peace.
We continue to hope for peace and support the Filipino people’s aspirations for peace based on justice. What is most important is that the people’s struggles for national liberation, social justice, economic development, and democratic reforms will continue, and the roots of the armed conflict will be addressed. Only then can just and lasting peace be achieved in the Philippines.
A Call for Sobriety: No to All-Out War, Continue the Peace Talks
15 February 2017
Hong Kong SAR
Together with Filipino human rights, justice and peace advocates as well as different international groups standing in solidarity with the Filipino people in their struggle for just and lasting peace, the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP) is unequivocally calling for the Duterte government to continue the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and not to follow the “Marcosian tactics” of past administrations which all failed in ending the longest revolutionary armed struggle in Asia through purely military means.
Last year the HKCAHRPP, together with the Filipino people, were jubilant during the first few months of the Duterte administration due to the government’s decision to resume the peace negotiations between the GRP and the CPP/NPA/NDF. At long last, we thought that there is a Philippine president who expresses openness in addressing the root causes of the armed struggle in the country through a negotiated peace settlement.
After the first three rounds of talks between the GRP and the CPP/NPA/NDF during the period of August 2016 to January 2017, President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s administration achieved significant gains that no other administration has achieved before. These are the affirmation of previously signed agreements, respect for the status of NDF personnel and negotiators protected under JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee), the release of 17 NDF personnel, a common ground on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reforms (CASER) and more than 160 days of a unilateral ceasefire.
But to our surprise and dismay, the Duterte government equivocally terminated the peace talks between the GRP and CCP/NPA/NDF.
The HKCAHRPP is also expressing its serious concern with the recent pronouncement of President Duterte that tags the CPP/NPA/NDF as “terrorists” and orders the immediate arrest of all protected personnel under JASIG. Similarly alarming is the declaration of an “all-out war” against the revolutionary movement by no less than the secretary of the Department of National Defense.
History has taught us that a military solution will never succeed in ending the country’s decades-old civil war. It will only aggravate the anger and worsen social unrest as the vast majority of the Filipino people continue to suffer from abject poverty, landlessness, exploitation and systemic injustice in the hands of a few and powerful elites ruling the country. Just like in previous administrations, massive militarization intensifies human rights violations in the form of abductions, extrajudicial killings, disappearances, the filing of trumped-up charges and the like against political activists, human rights defenders and justice and peace advocates among the peasants, national minorities, workers, women, youth, professionals, church people, etc.
Mr. President, do not let the significant gains that your administration has achieved in the past eight months of negotiation go to waste. There are many hurdles, differences and misunderstandings that both the GRP and CPP/NPA/NDF panels may encounter in pursuing the path for genuine and lasting peace. But there’s no better way to resolve such conflicts but through peace talks while both parties are resolute in addressing the root causes of the armed conflict in the Philippines.
The Filipino people deserve nothing but land to till, a protected environment, secure jobs and decent wages, the full protection of their rights and welfare, basic social services and a truly sovereign and developed economy that are all being tackled in CASER. Addressing these issues will pave the way for a just and lasting peace.
Continue the Peace Talks!
Yes to Just Peace!
No to All-Out War!
Reference: Bruce Van Voorhis
Ma Wan-ki “Majai”
Deputy Sec. General, ICHRP
(The HKCAHRPP is a Hong Kong-based solidarity campaign and advocacy network for just peace and human rights in the Philippines. It is composed of migrant organisations, local and regional rights NGOs, labor groups, lawyers, journalists, Church-based institutions and individual human rights advocates and defenders. It was established in 2006, two years after several striking farmers were killed by the members of the national police in what is now known as the “Hacienda Luisita Massacre”. It was also a response to the spate of extrajudicial killings of activists and human rights defenders in the Philippines.)
Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of
Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
c/o ASA, No. 4 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 98105070, 97585935 Fax. (852) 27354559
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