A recently formed alliance of national minority groups called Sandugo today filed a complaint at the GRP-Nominated Section in the Joint Secretariat of the GRP-NDFP Joint Monitoring Committee on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) on the October 19, 2016 violent dispersal at the US Embassy in Manila.
“While it is good to hear that the GRP remains committed to release all political prisoners, this remains an unfulfilled promise,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said as a response to the statement of GRP peace panel chair, Silvestre Bello III.
Labor secretary Bello was quoted last Wednesday, October 19, that the GRP will release political prisoners in batches starting with the women, sick and elderly.
“While the Philippine National Police officials and personnel responsible for the brutal dispersal of the protesting national minorities yesterday should be dismissed, charged and jailed, US embassy officials should also be held accountable for the brutal and sadistic dispersal. The US government has police and other state forces at its beck and call to secure its embassy in Manila. So its hand in the said dispersal should be investigated immediately,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said.
“We call on Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to rein in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and pull them out of civilian communities, amid his unilateral ceasefire declaration,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said in outrage on the death of Compostela Farmers Association (CFA) leader Jimmy Saypan.
“The recent joint statement of the GRP and NDFP continues to provide hope of freedom for political prisoners, yet we still wait for that day when these releases will actually happen. We hope this will be soon enough so that they can be with their loved ones, especially those who should be released on humanitarian grounds. We remain steadfast in our call for the release for all political prisoners through general amnesty,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, in the light of the conclusion of the second round of formal peacetalks between the Duterte administration and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on October 9, 2016. In the said joint statement, both panels referred to the releases of political prisoners.
“In President Rodrigo Duterte’s first 100 days in office, there are positive developments foremost being his decisiveness, the resumption of peace talks and the release of the NDFP peace consultants. But there are also persisting challenges,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.
Karapatan enumerated the following positive developments:
“We reiterate our call to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to fulfill its commitment and obligation to release ALL political prisoners through general amnesty,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said, as the second round of peacetalks between the GRP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) starts today, October 6, 2016 in Oslo, Norway.