On recent statements of GRP officials on the GRP-NDFP peace talks

In true fascist fashion, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon have once again shown, with greater fervor, that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) is disinterested in a just and lasting peace. 

Their recent statements undermining the GRP peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), rehashing the tagging of communists as “enemies of the State” and ordering militarist solutions as ways forward betray their shallow understanding of the armed rebellion and conflict in the Philippines. Any quickfix solutions, whether through Mindanao or nation-wide martial law, all-out war and counter-insurgency programs, have not and will not solve decades-old problems of feudal oppression, joblessness, poverty, and mendicancy to foreign interests, which are the very reasons why people take up arms and wage revolutions.

Now, the GRP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) pathetically attempt to put on an act as angelic, innocent and victimized puppies who have been at the receiving end of attacks, conveniently twisting the narrative to overshadow the 68 peasants killed, the 800+ illegally arrested, the 400,000 displaced and the thousands more subjected to harassment and intimidation. The AFP and their continued militarization of communities, and adherence to fascist policies were the major reasons why the ceasefire became untenable. Honestly, they are not only bullies, not only fascists but shameless lapdogs who do not have a basic understanding of just and lasting peace.

Threats of Solicitor General Jose Calida to rearrest NDFP peace consultants likewise betray the GRP officials’ utter ignorance, doubletalk or complete disregard of peace agreements. The Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) explicitly states that both Parties are obliged to protect all those involved in the peace process from any human rights violation, including arrests. How clear can that get? 

These statements also come at a time when martial law is being foisted in the whole country. Duterte and Esperon are laying the ground to justify nationwide martial law 2.0, for wholesale violation of people’s rights and civil liberties, in the guise of “national security.” 

We continue to stand with the Filipino people in their struggle for a just and lasting peace, the kind of peace that upholds the primacy of people’s rights and welfare over the few’s delusions of power gained through oppression and suppression of dissent.

Reference:  Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831 

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580