PNoy’s ‘pessimism’ shows lack of political will – NDFP

GPH President Aquino’s expressed “pessimism” about peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is most regrettable, the NDFP said.

“It shows a lack of decisiveness and political will regarding a matter of national interest.  Peace talks are never meant to be easy.  Tough negotiations are needed to resolve the root causes of the armed conflict between two contending Parties with their respective armies, Luis G. Jalandoni, Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel, said.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Aquino should discipline military officers who defy civilian authority.  An important case in point is the defiance of the commanding officer of the Philippine Army’s Intelligence and Security Group (ISG) to carry out the court order of the Gumaca Quezon Regional Trial Court to transfer NDFP Consultant Tirso Alcantara from his detention under the ISG, PA in Fort Bonifacio to a civilian facility, he said.

Judge Maria Chona Pulgar-Navarro ordered the Chief of the ISG, PA on July 18, 2012 to comply with her May 8, 2012 order.  She stated that Alcantara “suffered inhuman treatment” in the hands of the military custodians.  She stressed the supremacy of the civilian authority at all times and found that Alcantara’s transfer was long overdue.

Jalandoni said the inhuman treatment of NDFP consultants who are detained in violation of the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) seriously prejudices the GRP/GPH-NDFP peace talks.  It is a just demand of the NDFP that its 13 NDFP Consultants in GPH prisons be released.  This is not a precondition but an obligation arising from a binding bilateral agreement, he said.

Likewise, the NDFP demand for the release of political prisoners in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) is a just demand.  There are some 385 political prisoners, 107 of them arrested and detained under the current Aquino regime.

The NDFP has always been ready and willing to have peace negotiations to address the roots of the armed conflict on the basis of binding bilateral agreements.  Besides compliance with CARHRIHL and the JASIG, the NDFP sees the urgent need to negotiate needed social and economic reforms, such as land reform and national industrialization, Jalandoni said.

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