Militants seek bishops divine intervention, presidentiables support on resumption of GRP-NDFP peace talks

Militants seek bishops divine intervention, presidentiables support on resumption of GRP-NDFP peace talks

One of the groups supporting the resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines on Saturday urged the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)and all aspirants to the 2010 presidential elections to intervene and convince the government to remove all roadblocks for the stalled talks to resume at the earliest possible time.

“We strongly appeal to the 117 archbishops and bishops of the CBCP, and all presidential candidates in the 2010 elections to call on the Philippine government to rescind from imposing roadblocks that further imperil the talks. We believe the demands of the NDFP are politically and morally correct and the GRP should comply and honor these demands in the name of our people’s search for just and lasting peace,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said archbishops and bishops of the CBCP and presidential aspirants Senator Manuel Villar of Nacionalista Party, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of Liberal Party, former President Joseph Estrada of Partido ng Masang Pilipino, Senator Francis Escudero of Nationalist’s People’s Coalition, Brother Eddie Villanueva of Bagong Pilipinas, Vice-President Noli de Castro and even administration bets Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro and MMDA chair Bayani Fernando should join forces in convincing Malacanang to recognize the legitimate demands of the NDFP and kick off the resumption of talks at the earliest possible time.

Hicap reminded the CBCP and the 2010 presidential candidates that the resumption of peace talks is in the interest of the Filipino people calling for political settlement of the ongoing civil war in the countryside, saying many stakes that represent the aspirations of the people like human rights and economic rights will be discussed at the resumption of the talks.

‘The resumption of the talks is important to the people. It is a venue for them to articulate their day-to-day issues and struggles including but not limited to human rights and economic rights. The NDFP consultants should be freed from any kind of harassment and that the fabricated charges against them should be quashed and thrown to the dustbin of history for they are nothing but trumped up charges orchestrated by the militarist regime of President Arroyo,” added Hicap.

“The CBCP’s divine intervention and the strong support and lobbying of all presidential candidates for the resumption of the talks are needed to stop Malacañang from imposing conditions detrimental to the resumption of the talks,” he said.

Pamalakaya said it will also raise different issues to the peace talks once it is resumed like anti-Filipino national agreements like the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa) and across-the-nation offshore mining activities in the country which it said destroys the small fisherfolk livelihood and the marine environment.

The militant group will also raise the P 32-billion proposed production subsidy for the small fisherfolk when the two panels starts discussion of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio Economic Rights or CASER, the second substantive agenda after human rights.

Luis Jalandoni, chair of the NDFP peace panel criticized that since lifting of the government suspension of the Jasig since July 17, it has done nothing to comply in the spirit and intent of the agreement. “Instead, the GRP has further violated the Jasig, generated more impediments and deprived consultants of full immunity and safety guarantees,” he said.

The NDFP peace panel chair noted that alleged rebel leader Randal Echanis was conditionally release for six months which is calculated to turn him into a hostaged consultant under duress of the GRP. He is subject to arrest anytime at the whim of GRP.

Jalandoni also noted two others, Rafael Baylosis and Vicente Ladlad were issued safe conduct passes “whose text incriminates them and makes them accept they are criminal offenders. The two consultants have rejected the “shame passes” he said. #

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