Information Bureau | Communist Party of the Philippines
Press Release April 25, 2016
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) welcomes the plan of incoming GRP president Rodrigo Duterte to free political prisoners “as a show of confidence” to boost peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
In interviews yesterday, Duterte said he can release political prisoners and NDFP consultants as soon as talks have started. He said, all charges against the prisoners will be dropped.
“Incoming GRP President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to release political prisoners will certainly be a cordial act that will surely help invigorate peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP,” said the CPP.
“While the revolutionary forces are amenable to incoming GRP president Duterte’s plan to effect the release of all prisoners once talks are resumed, he can also take the option of ordering the release of key peace consultants of the NDFP prior to formal resumption of talks, especially those who will be playing a critical role in preparations and actual negotiations,” said the CPP.
“Such an act of goodwill shall not go unreciprocated by the revolutionary forces.”
The CPP further explained that the release of nearly 600 political prisoners, including the 18 peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), “will also be an act of justice, as they are being detained unjustly as a result of the offensive of trumped up charges unleashed by the military and police over the past several years.”
The CPP pointed out that “most of the political prisoners being detained by the AFP and PNP are peasant activists, as well as organizers among workers, urban poor, youth and women, who have been charged with unbailable crimes such as illegal possession of firearms and explosives, murder and others.”
“Even as incoming president Duterte plans to release political prisoners, the CPP urges him to revoke the AFP/PNP legal offensive of filing trumped up charges against activists in the legal arena that makes a mockery of the GRP’s justice system.”
“Over the past years, there has been a growing number of aboveground activists who have been harassed by military and police intelligence operatives,” said the CPP. “Not a few of them have chosen to go underground and join the revolutionary armed struggle or seek refuge in areas under the sway of the New People’s Army.”