Peace process is not yet dead – GPH chief negotiator

UNTV News   •   October 12, 2017   •   4134

Secretary Silvestre Bello III

MANILA, Philippines – Unless there is a formal document stating the termination of the peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front, there is still hope that it will return to the negotiating table.

This is the statement of the Government Peace Panel Chief Negotiator and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

“The talks are alive and we are just waiting for the President to give us the instructions to go back to the peace table,” Bello said.

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte said he is not yet ready to talk with the leftist group and maybe the next president will do it.

This after the New People’s Army intensified its attacks against the government forces.

“At this stage I am not ready to talk to them because it is not good for the country. If it is for the country, it is good, but the way it is now, I don’t like and maybe it would take sometime, maybe another president to do it,” Duterte said.

But Secretary Bello said the President is referring to the 5th round and backchannel talks which were both canceled because of the absence of conducive atmosphere.

Bello said it can be noted that  President Duterte’s key promise at the start of his term is to bring lasting peace in the country.

“He made a very clear statement that his legacy to our country and to our countrymen is a lasting peace for our country so I don’t think the President abandoned that legacy,” Bello said. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

AFP, PNP: Tiamzons’ conviction a victory for Reds’ victims

Robie de Guzman   •   November 27, 2020

Wilma and Benito Tiamzon

MANILA, Philippines – Military and police officials on Friday lauded the conviction of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon on charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, calling it a victory for the victims of the communist group.

In a statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Major General Edgard Arevalo said the court’s decision is “a victory for the many victims of atrocities of the NPA particularly orders to conduct murder, arson, extortion, ambushes, bombing and the like that they orchestrated.”

“They were convicted ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ by the Regional Trial Court 216 of Quezon City for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention,” he said.

The Tiamzon couple is believed to be ranking officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 216 found the couple guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years of imprisonment.

The Tiamzons were also ordered to pay damages and civil indemnity to the complainant amounting to P225,000.

“The AFP will continue to hunt them down after they have violated the provisions of their temporary liberty by virtue of their being nominated as consultants in the peace negotiations with the government. They refused to submit themselves to the government after the peace negotiations did not prosper,” Arevalo said.

He also vowed that the AFP would continue to strengthen its resolve to bring other criminals to justice in honor of the victims of the violence perpetrated by the CPP-NPA.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) called the conviction of Tiamzon couple a triumph of justice.

“It is also another success story on the efficiency of our prosecutors of our investigators who secured the validity of evidence presented during trial. Of course, it is also a manifestation of the sins committed by the communist terrorists against our people,” PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Ilbrandi Usana said in a statement.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año also lauded the conviction of the Tiamzons, recalling the efforts to track down and arrest the couple when he was just a military captain.

“I’m very happy malaki kasi yung hirap ko diyan sa paghuli niyan I was the chief of ISAFP (Intelligence Service of the AFP) when they was arrested in March 2014. I just cannot recall the exact date March 20 or 21, I spent half of my career looking for this couple started I was Captain,” he said.

The couple was arrested in 2014 in Cebu City after many years of hiding. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Public need not worry about Duterte’s ‘shoot them dead’ warning vs quarantine violators — IATF

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 2, 2020

There is no need to worry about President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘shoot them dead’ order against those who would disrupt the enhanced community quarantine, according to Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Spokesperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

In a digital press conference on Thursday (April 2), Nograles said the public should remember that the country is facing a public health issue and not a peace and order issue.

“This is a public health concern. Let’s not complicate things by making it a peace and order problem. It’s already hard and difficult as it is. Let’s focus on one enemy, which is COVID-19,” he said.

The IATF Spokesperson said that despite the ceasefire with the rebel groups. the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are prepared to take action if there is disorder.

“Hindi po papayag ang gobyerno na may manggugulo at may magti-take advantage sa situation na to (The government will not allow anyone who will cause chaos or take advantage of this situation),” Nograles said.

“Alam naman ng mga policemen natin, our AFP kung ano ang protocols pagdating sa peacekeeping and law enforcement (Our policemen, the AFP know the protocols when it comes to peacekeeping and law enforcement),” he added.

On Wednesday (April 1), Duterte warned that he will order the police and the AFP to shoot anyone who creates trouble. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Duterte warns unruly quarantine violators not to taunt gov’t amid relief delays

Marje Pelayo   •   April 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte expressed dismay over what happened between the residents of San Roque in Barangay Pagasa, Quezon City and police on Wednesday (April 1).

Such incident prompted the President to a sudden public address on live broadcast.

The Chief Executive stressed his appeal to the public to help maintain order amid the ongoing health crisis that the country is facing due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Consequently, he warned unruly residents to heed to government orders otherwise, he would order drastic measures against them.

“My orders are sa pulis pati military, pati mga barangay na kapag ginulo at nagkaroon ng okasyon na lumaban at ang buhay ninyo ay nalagay sa alanganin, shoot them dead (My orders to the police and the military and even to barangay officials, if they became unruly which may endanger your safety, shoot them dead),” the President said in obvious dismay.

“Kaysa manggulo kayo diyan, ilibing ko na kayo. Huwag ninyong subukan ang gobyerno kasi itong gobyerno na ito hindi inutil (So instead of causing chaos, I will just bury you. Do not challenge this government because this is not a useless government),” he added.

Some angry residents vented their anger against the local government of Quezon City claiming they have not received any relief assistance yet since the enhanced community quarantine started some weeks ago.

Police had no choice but to use force and arrested several residents who stood up against them.

A total of 15 males and 5 female residents were arrested for violating the physical distancing protocols.

The Quezon City government denied allegations that it is not providing relief assistance to affected residents.

“In fact, there is continuous distribution of food packs throughout the city, both from the local government and the barangays to ensure that affected families are looked after during this crisis period,” the LGU said in a statement.

Officials of Barangay Pagasa explained relief that distribution has reached the area only that relief packages on hand were not enough at that time.  

“Kaya nga nagagalit sila kasi bakit sa gilid lang ang nabigyan. Doon lang daw nagtapos ang dala nila Kapitan, hindi sila nabalikan ulit (They were angry because the relief goods reached only a specific area and did not reached their place)” said barangay personnel Ligaya Sambayon.

The local government suspects certain personalities are provoking the residents to rally against authorities.

Ang mga tao akala po nila may bigayan talaga. Pagdating nila doon ang mga hard core ng Kadamay na po ang nagpainit at nag-instigate na wala daw pong ibinigay na relief goods ang atin pong lungsod, ang atin pong barangay. (Residents were made to believe that there would be relief distribution. But some Kadamay members started the commotion provoking them to whine over lack of relief goods from the LGU, from the barangay when in fact, relief assistance was being provided to them),” QC Task Force Disiplina Action Officer Ranulfo Rannie Ludovica concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz / Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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