Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sincerity, transparency pressed in government and NDF peace talks

MANINDIGAN sa Peace Talk
Press Release
February 15, 2011

A civil society movement of peace advocates, non-government organizations and people’s organizations called as “Manindigan para sa Peace Talks” pressed for sincerity and transparency upon the resumption of formal talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

“We believe that peace is our right and peace building is responsibility of all. The resumption of the peace talks between the government and the NDFP offers an opportunity to come to terms with the country’s best interests and work for peace that had eluded us for so long,” said Sr. Arnold Maria Noel, SSps of the Manindigan para sa Peace Talks.

Both the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the government agreed to hold formal talks on February 15-21, 2011 in Oslo, Norway under the auspices of the Royal Norwegian Government which has been acting as Third Party Facilitator since 2001.

“The sincerity of both parties is vital for peace talks to succeed. But it remains to be seen if this would occupy a large spot on the part of the government and the NDFP. Both the government and the NDFP should go beyond noble-sounding words before the public by mustering enough political will and sincerity in order for the peace process to gain ground,” Sr. Noel said.

Sr. Noel also said transparency should be of utmost importance in the resumption of the peace talks since past negotiations suffered temporary setback because peace talks were done without listening to peoples voices and involving the key stakeholders in particular the communities.

People should be actively involved in the discussion and formulation of the remaining substantive agenda agreed upon by the government and the NDFP. These are social and economic rights through the negotiations on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social Economic Reforms (CASER) and, constitutional and political reforms.

 “The peace talks that flickered in the dark under the Arroyo administration, is likely to glare in Aquino administration who vowed to pursue peace talks with the NDFP. The resumption of peace process is a step forward towards finding comprehensive solution to correct the problems that cause armed conflict,” Sr. Noel said.

“While we are positive on the resumption of formal talks between the government and the NDFP, the peace negotiation is only one key element to achieve just and lasting peace in the country. The peace talks should go beyond talking. We all like to see injustice and poverty that deeply embedded in our nation’s life be uprooted,” Sr. Noel added.

The violations of human rights and humanitarian laws must be accounted. This issue is a fundamental one in the peace negotiations and is not an excuse to disrupt the implementation of The Hague Joint Declaration of September 1, 1992 and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed on March 16, 1998.

“Observance of ceasefire during peace negotiations is crucial since this increases trust and confidence for both parties. When talking about peace does not mean suspected rebels to be rounded up in the dead of night or group of soldiers to be maimed while performing their duties. The mutual ceasefire between the government and the NDFP will improve the peace landscape,” S. Noel stated.-end-


Ms. Joeven Reyes
Mobile Phone No. 0917.8441259
Office Telephone No. (02) 4347623

Supporting Organizations:

Indigenous People’s Network for Ancestral Domain and Peace I Teacher's Dignity Coalition l Sulong CARHRIHL Network l Initiatives for International Dialogue – Manila and Davao l Protect CIAC l GZO Peace Institute l Gen Peace Youth Network l Center for Peace Education – Miriam l Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates l Task Force Detainees of the Philippines l Medical Action Group l CBCP – NASSA l Philippine Campaign for the International Criminal Court l Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearances l Balay Rehabilitation Center l NEWLAC - Nueva Ecija l NAGSIKAP – Zambales l Kolokakoloy – Rizal l PASAKK - Agusan del Sur l KATRIBUMMU - Surigao del Sur l Socia Pastoral Action Center Foundation - Camarines Norte l Mangyan Mission - Mindoro Oriental l Socia Action Center - Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose - Mindoro Occidental l SAGIBIN - Northern Quezon l Tribal Center for Development - Northern Quezon l Waging Peace Philippines l Philippine Campaign to Ban Land Mine l Justice and Peace, Integrity of Creation - AMRSP l Civil Society Initiative for International Humanitarian Law l South – South Network - Davao l Sacred Heart Missionary – Davao l Coalition of Mindanao Indigenous People for Peace Advocacy l Ecowaste Coalition – Cavite Greens l Samahan ng Magsasaka sa Kapuluan l Order of Friars Minor – JPIC l Indigenous People’s Apostolate - Aurora and North Quezon

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