CPP Information Bureau
"Political prisoners remain behind bars because the Aquino regime is not addressing their issue as well as letting the fascists and militarists ride high." — Fr. Santiago Salas
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Eastern Visayas Region (NDFP-EV) today assailed 8th Infantry Division chief Gen. Mario Chan for hostile statements against the immediate release of detained cultural worker Ericson Acosta. "The release of some 400 political prisoners in the country is being worked on in the peace talks between the Aquino government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines," said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDFP-EV spokesperson. "Such a step is a matter of justice in recognition that these political prisoners are victims of false charges and political persecution.
"Gen. Chan's hostility to the release of Ericson Acosta is therefore fascist and anti-peace in pressing for Acosta's unjust imprisonment and in undermining the peace talks."
Fr. Salas added the Aquino government is obliged to release the political prisoners to honor the standing peace agreements with the NDFP and to move the peace talks forward.
"Ericson Acosta and other political prisoners were illegally arrested, planted with evidence, tortured, and made to languish in prison on trumped-up charges. It is therefore just and legitimate to demand the release of all political prisoners because this is in accordance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, and other standing peace agreement between the Philippine government and the NDFP.
"The burden is on the Aquino government to comply with such a just and legitimate demand. Otherwise, the peace talks will become a laughingstock because the fascists and militarists like Gen. Chan are making a mockery of it."
The NDFP-EV spokesperson also said the people must continue to struggle to free all political prisoners in light of the stumbling blocks raised by the fascists and militarists.
"The political prisoners remain behind bars because the Aquino regime is not addressing their issue as well as letting the fascists and militarists ride high. Thus the people must continue to press for freedom for all political prisoners. They must also continue to struggle for human rights, the ending of impunity leading to more and more political prisoners, and the pursuit of a just and lasting peace."