The Aquino regime is double-dealing by deliberately stalling the peace talks and ordering the 8th Infantry Division to crush the NPA in Eastern Visayas — Fr. Santiago Salas
Fr. SANTIAGO SALAS
Spokesperson, NDFP-Eastern Visayas
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Eastern Visayas today said the Aquino regime’s seriousness for peace negotiations is under question as long as Eduardo Sarmiento and other NDFP peace consultants are not released. The NDFP-EV spokesperson, Fr. Santiago Salas, also noted the regime talks of peace but has militarized the region with 11 Philippine Army battalions.
“The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the NDFP signed this year the 18 January Joint Communique, with the Norwegian government as witness, where the GPH committed to immediately releasing the detained NDFP peace consultants and personnel covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). But after many months, obviously, the Aquino regime has not released Eduardo Sarmiento, NDFP peace consultant for Eastern Visayas, and his fellow consultants.”
Fr. Salas added that, “As far as Eastern Visayas is concerned, the Aquino regime is on the warpath in militarizing the region with 11 army battalions under the euphemism of ‘peace and development’. In NDFP-EV’s view, the Aquino regime is double-dealing by deliberately stalling the peace talks and ordering the 8th Infantry Division to crush the NPA in the region under Oplan Bayanihan.
If the Aquino regime is really for peace, it should have been working for the progress of the peace talks and restrained the search-and-destroy mission of the 8th ID masquerading as ‘peace and development’ operations.”
The NDFP-EV spokesperson called on the Aquino regime to release Eduardo Sarmiento and all NDFP peace consultants as well as other political prisoners, end the anti-people counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, and work on the peace talks to deliver socio-economic reforms.
“Eduardo Sarmiento has been languishing in jail since February 2009 on trumped-up charges, like his fellow NDFP peace consultants and other political prisoners. His release is not only because of his role in the peace talks, but also a matter of justice. Eduardo Sarmiento and the people have all been victims of the GPH’s wanton violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
“The people of Eastern Visayas are only suffering war and misery under the the contradiction in terms of Oplan Bayanihan’s ‘peace and development’ operations. The people are questioning why ‘peace and development’ are not being discussed at the negotiating table by the GPH and the NDFP, but being mouthed by armed minions of the state who are violating human rights with impunity.
If the Aquino regime persists in betraying the interests of the people, it will surely become isolated and vulnerable to the wrath of the people who desire a just and lasting peace.”