Malacañang is obligated to release NDFP consultants, fullfill peace talks agreements — CPP

CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today reminded Malacañang of its obligation to release all peace talks consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and fulfill all agreements entered into by the Philippine government (GPH).

The CPP issued the reminder in reaction to statements made yesterday by an Aquino spokesman saying “that the release of (NDFP) consultants was never an obligation but confidence building on the part of government to push the peace process forward.”

“By claiming that the release of NDFP consultants was ‘never an obligation’, Aquino’s spokesperson downplays the importance the Joint Communique which the GPH representatives signed with the NDFP on 18 January this year wherein it agreed to work precisely for the expeditious release of NDFP consultants and other personnel covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG),” pointed out the CPP.

The CPP further reminded Malacañang that representatives of the Norwegian government witnessed the signing of the Joint Communique and are aware of its contents.

By reaffirming the framework of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations, the Aquino government is also obligated to abide by the provisions of the JASIG and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), added the CPP.

“Aside from the release of NDFP peace consultants, the Aquino regime is also bound by the CARHRIHL, the JASIG and other agreements to release more than 350 political prisoners who continue to languish in GPH jails,” said the CPP.

“The Aquino regime is likewise obliged to carry out the necessary measures to mete justice on security and military officials who masterminded a number of fascist crimes committed under the Arroyo regime, including the abduction and enforced disappearance of NDFP consultants Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid and Rogelio Calubad, as well as other NDFP personnel, and the extrajudicial killing of more than a thousand activists.”

“Millions of people, especially in the countryside, continue to be victimized by violations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of the provisions of the CARHRIHL in the conduct of its counterrevolutionary Oplan Bayanihan,” said the CPP. “Under the CARHRIHL, the Aquino government is also obliged to order the AFP to put a stop to such practices as using civilian infrastructure for setting up armed detachments, encamping in population centers, restricting the free movement of people, imposing curfews, food and other forms of economic blockade, and other violations of the people’s economic and political rights as well as practices that endanger the civilian population.”

“Malacañang is trying to gloss over its failure to fulfill obligations of the Philippine government by questioning the sincerity of the NDFP and denouncing the legitimate acts of war being carried out by the New People’s Army and the judicial processes of the democratic people’s government.”

The CPP pointed out that the recent detention of, and subsequent accordance of prisoner-of-war status on four personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) taken into custody on 21 July, and the arrest of GPH official Henry Dano and his bodyguards in order to face preliminary investigation, “neither constitute violations of standing agreements with the GPH nor diminish the determination of the NDFP to pursue peace negotiations as a means of resolving the socio-economic roots of the civil war.”

“Before questioning the sincerity of the NDFP in peace talks, Malacañang should first prove its capability to comply with past peace agreements by releasing all NDFP consultants and more than 350 political prisoners, and ensuring that the AFP respects human rights and complies with provisions of the CARHRIHL,” said the CPP.

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