On the possible resumption of the GRP-NDFP peacetalks

Karapatan welcomes the possible continuation of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The peace process is an important venue for discussions and actions on the root causes of the armed conflict in the country, including long-standing issues concerning civil, political, economic and social rights of the Filipino people, which are among the substantive agenda in the peace talks.

With this, it is important for both Parties, especially the Duterte government, to reaffirm commitment to previously signed agreements such as The Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). With the continuing human rights violations by State forces, malicious pronouncements by the President and his men inciting rights violations and war crimes, and Duterte’s propensity for double talk, there is great distrust on the GRP’s sincerity to live up to its commitments and obligations.

Upholding previously signed agreements also means that the outstanding issues concerning violations on the CARHRIHL should be discussed such as putting a stop to extrajudicial killings; the withdrawal of the Department of Justice petition proscribing the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist organization and including names of human rights defenders and activists in its fake terror list; halting the policy and practice of filing trumped up charges against activists and the release of at least 486 political prisoners; putting an end to martial law in Mindanao and the pull out of military troops in communities.

We call on the Filipino people to remain vigilant and engaged in the GRP-NDFP peace talks, as we continue our struggle for a just and lasting peace.

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580