In the Philippines, in spite of the achieved objectives, peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) were suspended. This is certainly a step back in the process of building peace and meanwhile the armed conflict has been raging for almost 50 years.
Raffy Baylosis, one of the negotiators of the NDFP was arrested on 31 January 2018 despite the lack of an arrest warrant against him.
Even though President Duterte interrupted peace talks with the NDFP, the negotiators are still protected by the agreement known as the JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees).
The Partito della Rifundazione Comunista (PRC) asks President Duterte for the liberation of the negotiator of the NDFP, due to the protection ensured by the JASIG, and also because of personal reasons (he has been suffering health problems). Furthermore, the PRC asks for the resumption of the peace talks as to solve the reasons of the armed conflicts in the Philippines at its roots.
After almost 50 years of war, the aggressive and misogynist statements of “shooting the female fighters in their vagina,” made recently by President Duterte, certainly did not help the cause.
Only in peace-time, it will be possible to tackle and solve the age-old problems of this armed conflict at its sources, such as the deep-seated economic and social injustices, the chronic poverty, extreme inequality, the gap between different parts of the country, as well as a set of delicate social and religious relationships.
At present, the Philippines brings up the rear in Human Development Index ranking and neoliberal policies conducted by Duterte did not result in the decrease of the dramatic poverty present in the country and only added fuel to the flames of the armed conflict.
Unfortunately, news from the Philippines describe a dramatic situation: brutal killings by law enforcement officers, State Police and paramilitary groups of human rights defenders, farmers, poor people from city suburbs, environmentalists, journalists and clergy men and women. The so-called “Drug war” of Duterte government has led, so far, to a thousand of victims, particularly in poor suburbs. Despite of this, the drug trafficking continues to proliferate, as admitted by the government itself.
In Rome, previous peace talks were conducted. Our country (in which a large Filipino community is present) can and will have to do its part. For its part, the PRC appeals to the Philippine government and to the NDFP to resume the peace talks in order to finally put an end to the atrocities of the war.
Partito della Rifondazione Comunista-Sinistra Europea
(Communist Refoundation Party – Party of the European Left)