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News Release
May 16, 2008

Reference: Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, chairman, KMP and president, ANAKPAWIS party list


“Confidence building measures should be ensured for peace talks to prosper.”-KMP
Stopping of extra-judicial killings and release of Randall Echanis are requisites

The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) supports the ongoing informal talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) mediated by the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) but the group reiterated that confidence building measures should be done.

According to Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, chairman of KMP and concurrent president of ANAKPAWIS party list, “on top of these confidence building measures are for the GRP to put a stop to extra-judicial killings and abductions and the release of political prisoners especially Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis, deputy secretary general of KMP for external affairs and is also a consultant for the peace talks,”

“How can the peace talks prosper when its members and consultants are being abducted, killed or illegally arrested? Ka Randy was illegally arrested and trumped up charges were filed against him in Negros, where he was at a conference for genuine agrarian reform in preparation for the National Rural Congress (NRC) called for by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP),” said Mariano.

“Just yesterday Ka Celso Pojas, spokesperson of KMP-Southern Mindanao Region was killed by military agents. An atmosphere of benevolence should be built first for the peace talks to advance. So the announcement of new Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Alexander Yano that monetary incentives would be given to soldiers in crushing insurgents but in reality are just a ploy to attack peasant and indigenous people’s communities, should be retracted and he should at least be reprimanded,” said the peasant leader.

“Yes, we want peace and genuine agrarian reform but it should be based on justice and accountability. Talks should be reinforced by positive action,” ended Mariano. # # #







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