Saturday, July 15, 2017

CPP/NDF-EV: Militarization and “local peace talks” in Northern Samar smack of martial law rather than peace process

NDF-Eastern Visayas propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jul 15): Militarization and “local peace talks” in Northern Samar smack of martial law rather than peace process

Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas, Spokesperson
NDFP Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)

15 July 2017

Is the Duterte government open to peace talks or is it preparing for martial law? The National-Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV) today slammed the Duterte regime for the intense militarization in Northern Samar, along with the provincial government’s noise for local peace talks.

“Since March and April, the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army has been launching continuous military operations in Northern Samar such as in Las Navas, Lope de Vega and Silvino Lobos,” said NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas. “This has forced the New People’s Army to carry out tactical offensives to defend themselves and the people. The situation puts the sincerity of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) for the peace process into question. Moreover, Northern Samar Gov. Jose Ong, Jr. has threatened the integrity of the NDFP-GRP negotations with proposing “local peace talks” which the NDFP has long rejected as a divide and rule tactic.”

The NDF-EV spokesperson noted that martial law methods are used in militarizing Northern Samar. “Soldiers are subjecting civilians to mass surveillance and population control. Last June, in Barangay San Isidro, Las Navas, the soldiers went on a house-to-house accounting of every family and even took their pictures. The military harassed those who hailed from the nearby town of San Jose de Buan, Samar. A barangay official of San Jose village, Renoe Asina, was also held by soldiers last June 22 to force him to guide their operation, and was only let go because he knew some of them.”

Fr. Salas also criticized Gov. Ong for working with the military to sabotage the peace process. “Local peace talks serve to complement militarization through deceiving and coopting the people with surrender programs. It is thus insidious and belittles the peace process as a national concern towards basic reforms addressing the root causes of the civil war. The GRP under Duterte cannot even get its act together to resume the peace talks. How much more Gov. Ong and the rest of his political dynasty? It will better serve the people for them to shut up and face the investigation of the people’s court for their involvement in corruption, extrajudicial killings and illegal drugs in Northern Samar.”

The NDF-EV urged the people to resolutely fight militarization and gross human rights violationstunder the Duterte regime, and the serious threat to legitimize all these with a nationwide martial law. “We urge the human rights and peace advocates in Northern Samar as well as Tacloban City and other urban centers in the region to rise up and condemn militarization and local peace talks. They must fight the Duterte regime’s martial law in Mindanao and the steps toward ending the peace talks and imposing nationwide martial law. It is the bounden duty of the New People’s Army to defend the people, punish the human rights violators, and advance the armed revolution to a new and higher level with or without peace negotiations.”

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