Various groups urge gov’t to continue
peace talks with Left
ZEA IO MING C. CAPISTRANO
Feb. 06, 2017
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Various non-government organizations across the
country are urging President Rodrigo Duterte not to back out from the
peace talks with the communists.
They also warned the all-out war approach will affect communities and
Human rights group Karapatan said Duterte should rethink his statement on
the termination of the peace talks between the government and the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines after the president announced the
termination of the peace talks with the NDFP.
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said Duterte should be
prepared to encounter problems in solving the armed conflict.
“Both Parties have expressed that the road to a just and lasting peace is
not an easy one, but has several bumps and roadblocks,” she said.
Palabay added that it is the Army who is sabotaging the peace talks.
“Pres. Duterte should see that one big roadblock is the Armed Forces of
the Philippines (AFP) being warmongers and peace saboteurs, within and
outside the peace process,” she said citing cases of political killings,
enforced disappearances, illegal arrests and detention, threats and
harassment in the communities.
“The AFP’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan was still in play,
with the military’s so-called “peace and development” teams coercing and
threatening local government officials and residents as they continued to
encamp in peasants’ homes, schools, and barangay halls. This is the reason
why the residents, the victims and their families have repeatedly called
on the GRP to pull out the AFP troops from their communities and to stop
Oplan Bayanihan,” she said.
Palabay said “militarist” approach to ending insurgency will not solve the
rebellion in the country.
Karapatan has recorded that at least four peasant activists were killed by
state security forces in January this year.
On February 3, Lumad leader Renato Anglao, 42, of the Tribal Indigenous
Oppressed Group Association was killed by three men on board a motorcycle.
Karapatan said TINDOGA, an indigenous people’s organization of the
Manobo-Pulangion tribe in Barangay Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon, has
consistently opposed the entry of agri-business plantations in the
ancestral land of the lumad. The group was also accused of supporting the
“Ultimately, it is the people who will suffer from the absence of GRP-NDFP
official peace talks,” Palabay said.
Meanwhile, the Northern Luzon Peace Network said they are worried that
violence will “revisit many communities, particularly those occupied by
“The events in the past few days have been extremely worrying for us,
tribal groups, church organizations and nongovernment organizations in the
Cordillera and in Cagayan province,” it said in a statement.
“We now appeal to them to not lose sight of the long-awaited gains that a
peace agreement will bring, particularly for the country’s poorest
sectors,” it added.
Various tribes in Compostela Valley Province also said the six-month
unilateral ceasefire declared by both sides brought peace to their
“We, the Manguangan, Dibabawon and Mandaya tribes in Laak, Monkayo and
Compostela in Compostela Valley, therefore, call on the government and the
CPP-NPA to keep talking. We urge them to build on the gains from the three
previous rounds of formal negotiations,” it said.(davaotoday.com)