Gov’t to create new panel for localized peace talks
Marje Pelayo • March 21, 2019 • 1878
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has terminated the appointments of the members of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) negotiating panel.
But the decision, according to Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. will pave the way for the creation of a holistic panel that will supervise localized peace negotiations.
The termination of services of the members of the panel was officially terminated last March 18, based on the letter from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea addressed to the GRP panel members.
The decades-long peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which represents the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), has been intermittent since it began in 1986.
Galvez said the negotiations yielded nothing beneficial for the government.
With the termination of the peace panel, the implementation of the Hague Declaration and Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws (CARHRIHL) is now temporarily on hold until the Office of the President has evaluated and reviewed all past agreements with the NDFP.
In response to the issue, NDFP Founding Chairman and Chief Political Consultant Joma Sison in a statement on Thursday (March 21) accused President Duterte of having no interest in the peace negotiations because “he has always schemed to use the armed conflict as an excuse for carrying out martial law nationwide” and “in order to realize and impose fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people.”
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a press briefing said Sison “read it wrongly.”
“That’s why there will be creation of panels, it’s localized. That would be more favorable to them,” Panelo concluded.
The new panel, Panelo said, will commission representatives from different sectoral groups, local government units, and the military. – Marje Pelayo
MANILA, Philippines — Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison warned on Tuesday (May 12) that President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer of P2 million bounty for the capture of New People’s Army (NPA) commanders will only lead to further loss of ‘innocent civilians.’
“With this kind of offer, we can expect his armed minions to manufacture more NPA commanders so that they will receive the cash reward as they have from previous fake surrenders and fake encounters,” Sison said in a post on Facebook.
“We can expect more murders being committed by military and police officers against innocent civilians who are misrepresented as NPA commanders,” he added.
President Duterte in a briefing announced his offer to anyone who would be lead the authorities to the capture of an NPA leader or commander following another series of attacks against government troops in humanitarian missions.
“Like his previous order to shoot dead any violator of the lockdown, his order to kill NPA commanders will result in the murder of many innocent people,” Sison later added.
The communist leader also noted that the President allegedly “does not care that he will go down in history as a butcher of the Filipino people.”
Sison reiterated that President Duterte is just using the NPA to cover up his administration’s ‘gross incompetence and failure’ in the fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) citing the lack of mass testing and contact-tracing and the increasing number of health workers dying of the virus due to lack of personal protective gear.
“Duterte has made a rambling and inane multi-media broadcast every week during the lockdown but he has not given any rational plan for the use of 275 billion pesos. And there has been no accounting of the disbursement of these funds,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines – Communist leader Jose Maria Sison has taken a cue from the United Nations (UN) to agree on a ceasefire with the government at this time of health crisis due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“As Chief Political Consultant, I am advising the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to recommend to its principal, the NDFP National Council, the issuance of a unilateral ceasefire declaration by the Communist Party of the Philippines to the New People’s Army in order to respond to the call of UN secretary general Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire between warring parties for the common purpose of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic,” Sison said in a statement.
The founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines stressed, however, that their decision doesn’t mean they are putting their guards down against potential tactical offensives by government forces.
Prior to the UN’s call for a global ceasefire, President Rodrigo Duterte asked the communist group to agree with a ceasefire to give way for the national government to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Malacañang, meanwhile, welcomes the rebel group’s intention to likewise declare a unilateral ceasefire as it is much necessary at this trying times.
“It is about time they join the collective efforts of the nation to fight the spread of the coronavirus,” noted Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has selected a new chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the person of LtGen. Felimon Santos, Jr., head of the East Mindanao Command.
Santos will replace LtGen. Noel Clement who will be retiring on Sunday (Jan. 5) at the age of 56.
Although he admitted that there are many qualified officers in the AFP, Santos said he is happy with the trust that the President has given him.
Under his leadership, Santos said, he will continue the course that the AFP has taken in fighting the communist group.
“Wala naman talagang reforms na talagang reforms. We will just enhance what is there na kita naman natin is very effective. The priority there is the urgency in ending insurgencies,” Santos said.
He further said that he will give attention to former members of the communist group who returned to the fold of the government and on localized peace talks.
“We will push with the localized peace talks kahit na may inaayos na national peace talks between the government and ‘yung grupo ni Joma Sison. Now, pagka sinabi mong ‘insurgency’ sa isang probinsiya, it’s the problem of everybody especially the local chief executive,” Santos added.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership welcomed the appointment of the new AFP chief who was a “mistah” of LtGen. Archie Gamboa in PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986.
“We’re proud. We’re proud that he is a member of PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986. We hope for him the best and we will be in support of his leadership,” Gamboa said.
Clement will formally pass the AFP leadership to Santos at the Change of Command ceremonies on Saturday (Jan. 4). — (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /mbmf
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