Tuesday, June 28, 2016

US, AFP sabotaging peace talks with Reds, NDF warns

From The Standard (Jun 29): US, AFP sabotaging peace talks with Reds, NDF warns
The spokesperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines Fidel Agcaoili said the US government and the Philippine military are bent on spoiling the upcoming peace negotiation between the Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-NDF.

Agcaoili issued  this statement after a court issued on Tuesday a warrant for the arrest of 15 activists   for cases of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. 

Among the 15 people facing the  charges are Rius Valle, Rev. Jurie Jailed, Hanimay Suazo, Ryan Laniba, Tony Salubre, Jimboy Marciano, Mary Ann Sapar, Jaja Encasio, Pedro Arnado, Kerlan Fanagel Sr., Stella Matutina, Restita Miles, Isidro Andao and Kharlo Manaro. The court recommended no bail against the accused.

The NDFP spokesman said the government of President Benigno Aquino III is running after activists who are fighting for the rights of the indigenous people.

“Why are they issuing a warrant of arrest now?,” Agcaoili asked.

Valle, one of the accused, belied the allegations of kidnapping and serious illegal detention of more than 700 lumad evacuees in the United Church of Christ in the Philippines Haran.

He said that the cases against them were clearly filed to sabotage the upcoming peace talks.

“It is so clear that they are doing this to sabotage the efforts of peace between Net and the Philippine Government in the incoming [Rodrigo] Duterte administration,” Valle said.

“This was how the Aquino administration wanted to finish all of us leaders who defend the lumad and their education,” he added.

Meanwhile, the government peace negotiating panel said it  saw no need to bring  home the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison.

Peace panel consultant Secretary Silvestre Bello said   that  Sison’s return to the country will only be possible if the government followed diplomatic procedures to lift the terrorist tag against Sison.

He said the government peace panel has not discussed the possible return of Sison.

“It is not necessary for him to join the peace talks,” Bello said after the second day of the Hugpong Kalinaw: Unity for Just and Lasting Peace Forum held at the Davao City recreational gym.

He said that they are doing a panel to panel negotiation as of the moment and Sison may not join the panel of the CPP-NDF.

 Bello  explained that the GPH is not yet planning to remove Sison from the terrorist watchlist.

Bello explained that if Sison will continue to cooperate with the peace negotiations, the United States might reconsider their tagging.

“If Joma will join the peace talks, the US Government will see that he is talking for peace, which is a clear proof that he is not a terrorist,” he said.

Bello also clarified that it is not the government who requested for the inclusion of Sison in the US terrorist watchlist.

Prior to Bello’s statement, Agcaoili said it was the responsibility of the government to make a move to exclude Sison from the terrorist watchlist since it is the government that asked for his inclusion in it during Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s term.

“It has to be their initiative because they are the ones who requested for it,” Agcaoili said.

He added that the government has to follow a diplomatic procedure to lift Sison from the list.


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