NDFP willing to have ceasefire around Mount Bulusan volcano

NDFP is willing to have a mutual ceasefire with the GRP on humanitarian grounds around Mount Bulusan volcano

By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, Human Rights Committee

On behalf of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and as Chairman of the NDFP-Monitoring Committee of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), we welcome the request of Mike Defensor, chief of staff of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for a mutual ceasefire between the armed forces of the GRP and NDFP in connection with the expected eruption of the Mount Bulusan volcano in Sorsogon province.

NDFP is willing to have a mutual ceasefire with the GRP on humanitarian grounds around Mount Bulusan volcano

By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, Human Rights Committee

On behalf of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and as Chairman of the NDFP-Monitoring Committee of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), we welcome the request of Mike Defensor, chief of staff of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for a mutual ceasefire between the armed forces of the GRP and NDFP in connection with the expected eruption of the Mount Bulusan volcano in Sorsogon province.

Notwithstanding the Arroyo regime’s current acts of hostility against the revolutionary movement, we deem acceptable the mutual ceasefire on humanitarian grounds in the municipalities (Bulosan, Casiguran and Juban) close to the Mount Bulusan volcano for the duration of the need to evacuate the people threatened by the volcanic eruption, to undertake all possible care and relief work for the affected communities and to ensure the eventual safe return of the evacuees to their homes.

In this regard, the NDFP Negotiating Panel has taken steps to recommend such mutual ceasefire on humanitarian grounds between the armed forces of the GRP and the NDFP, to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Executive Committee of the NDFP, for their appropriate decision and necessary guidelines and orders to the New People’s Army (NPA).

However, such mutual ceasefire on humanitarian grounds and for the benefit of the people should not be taken as a license by the armed forces of the GRP to swamp the affected areas with armed troops, in view of the recent announcement by high GRP officials and military officers, naming Sorsogon as one of the six special target areas for so-called massive counter-insurgency operations.

Such mutual ceasefire should not also be used as license by the US to bring in military forces to disaster-affected areas in the guise of humanitarian relief. We vigorously oppose the recent treasonous agreement of the GRP with the US government for the military forces of the latter to trample on the national sovereignty of the Filipino people and encroach on Philippine territory under the pretext of countering so-called “nontraditional security threats” like “terrorism, piracy, natural disasters and outbreaks of diseases”.

The Filipino people and their civil institutions and organizations can cope with natural disasters and in this regard cooperate with the peoples abroad and their civil institutions and organizations that are devoted to disaster relief. The NDFP and its forces are now actively engaged in helping people to evacuate from the vicinity of Mount Bulusan volcano even as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is assuring the people that the volcano is unlikely to erupt soon.

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