Assassination plot against NDFP chief political consultant, an affront to efforts for just peace

Press Release | August 10, 2017

On August 8, 2017, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) released a statement, through its National Executive Committee, exposing an assassination attempt against NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison, with verbal approvals from Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and AFP Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano, and a subsequent military ploy to overthrow the Duterte regime through a coup d’etat. This so-called two stage plot is allegedly instigated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The said report is said to be from sources inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), but needs further verification.

“If there is a grain of truth behind these reports, this further exposes the AFP’s complete disrespect and disregard for previously signed agreements such as the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). It reveals that the US government, Pres. Duterte and ranking officials of the AFP are not interested in peace beyond the shallow definition of a truce, and it is indicative of how they disregard international laws and signed agreements,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

“General Ano’s involvement in both plots are in fact most probable, as he is a psychopath and mercenary of the US government. General Ano has a bloodstained record of instigating various human rights abuses, including the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos and extrajudicial killings of Lumad, and international humanitarian law violations, in his avid implementation of US-driven counter-insurgency programs during the Arroyo, Aquino and the current Duterte regime,” she added.   

Palabay said that Sison has formulated several significant analyses on the impacts of imperialist aggression on people’s rights, among other articles and written work which contains his views on the current global and national situation. “This is an affront to the efforts for just and lasting peace. Attacking NDFP’s chief political consultant further jeopardizes and constricts the window for the continuation of the peace process. Indeed, when the peace process is stalled, only peace spoilers such as the AFP and the US have much to gain,” she said.

Aside from the assassination ploy, Karapatan also raised the issue of the massacre of Andres Hubilla, Miguel Himor - both members of the New People’s Army - and local residents Arnel Borres and Dick Laura by elements of the police and military last July 28, 2017 in Casiguran, Sorsogon, Bicol.Hubilla and Himor were both unarmed during the the police and military raid, and should have been considered hors de combat. As Hubilla and Himore, and the two local residents were unarmed, there was no exchange of gunfire.

“This is indicative of how State security forces disregard international humanitarian laws. The GRP not only signed the CARHRIHL, but is a signatory to other international conventions detailing rules of engagement during situations of armed conflict,” added Palabay.

“We doubt that they even know what the CARHRIHL is. These trigger-happy State instruments seem oblivious of human rights and the many laws which try to safeguard these rights. This is to be expected from militarists who cannot appreciate the logic of addressing socioeconomic issues to help address the roots of the armed conflict. We thus call on all peace advocates to condemn both the assassination plot against NDFP consultant Jose Maria Sison and the massacre in Bicol which constitutes a violation of international humanitarian laws. We continue to reiterate our support for the peace talks and for efforts towards just and lasting peace,” concluded Palabay. 

Reference:  Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580