NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES
22 July 2015
The National Democratic Front of the Philippine (NDFP) Negotiating Panel strongly endorses the recommendations of the NDFP North Central Mindanao Region for starting the negotiations for the safe and orderly release of Prisoner of War (POW) Pfc. Adonis Jess M. Lupiba, Serial Number 863573, of the 58th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, Armed Forces of the Philippines. He was captured by the New People’s Army in a legitimate military operation of the NPA on July 11, 2015 in Alagatan, Gingoog City.
We commend the NDFP North Central Mindanao Region’s endorsing of the declaration of the NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Command that it is prepared to forego normal processes of investigation and the revolutionary judicial process as a gesture of goodwill and to show the revolutionary movement’s sincerity in seeking the resumption of peace talks with the Aquino government.
We likewise commend the NDFP North Central Mindanao Region’s assurance that POW Lupiba is being accorded humane treatment as a POW in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and other laws and rules of the people’s democratic government.
The NDFP Negotiating Panel issues this strong endorsement also in response to the appeal of the wife and parents of the aforesaid POW and the call of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) signed by Co-Chairperson, Most Rev. Antonio Ledesma, S.J. and the Right Rev. Felixberto Calang, IFI, Core Group Member.
We strongly urge the leadership of both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to issue the required Suspension of Offensive Military and Police Operations (SOMO/SOPO), which will be accompanied by a corresponding NPA ceasefire for the same period and area, in order to ensure the safe and orderly release of POW Lupiba.
We believe this goodwill gesture of the NDFP North Central Mindanao Region and NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Command will improve the atmosphere for the resumption of formal peace negotiations which ought to address the root causes of the 46-year-old armed conflict.
The issuance of the SOMO is a test for the new AFP Head, Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri who just declared that he supports the resumption of peace negotiations between the Aquino government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The new PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez ought to issue the SOPO.
LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel