Group asks GPH to review stand on coalition gov’t with CPP

A militant urban poor group asked the current administration to rethink its stand on the possibility of forming a coalition government with the communist rebels to undertake programs aimed at ending the decades-long insurgency in the country.

Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), a nationwide alliance of urban poor groups, said it has never been more timely for the Aquino administration to review its approach in ending the insurgency waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and that is anchored on the ever-worsening poverty in the country.

The group claimed that, despite their high optimism and made-up positive economic reports, Filipinos are not blinded to realize that the Aquino government and the previous regimes have failed to uplift the lives of millions of poor Filipinos year after year.

Kadamay attributed such failure to the traditional weakness of the government to drive programs that will create the critical impetus towards genuine land reform and national industrialization in the country.

“The Comprehensive Agreement of Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) offered by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on the peace negotiating table actually has packaged clear-cut programs on land reform, rural development and national industrialization, said Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national chairperson.

“But in years, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) has been less enthusiastic in looking into the programs under CASER mainly due to its commitment to implement neoliberal policies,” she added.

Talks bogged down

Formal negotiations on social and economic reforms were to resume in June 2011. But talks bogged down over disagreements on how to interpret and implement the agreements the two panels had signed — particularly the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

The JASIG is a key agreement in the peace negotiations between the GPH and the NDFP which is meant to test the good faith, sincerity and commitment of both parties to relentlessly pursue the peace negotiations to arrive at comprehensive agreements on basic social, economic and political reforms and help pave the way for a just and lasting peace in the country.

The NDFP claimed it has dutifully complied with the JASIG by respecting the safety and immunity guarantees of all those involved in the peace negotiations on the side of the GPH. On the other hand, the GPH has persistently violated the JASIG with the arrests, torture, killing and disappearance of those involved on the NDFP side.

“If the GPH cannot be trusted to comply with the JASIG, how can it be trusted to comply with substantial agreements on social, economic and political reforms?,” Arellano asked.

Show some sincerity

Meanwhile, Kadamay also encouraged the Aquino administration to at least show some sincerity in complying with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed by the Estrada administration.

Arellano claimed that amidst the recent cases of extra-judicial killings of progressive individuals, urban poor included, and different forms of human right violations perpetrated by the state forces, the Aquino administration has to work double time to cope up with the peace negotiations.

“Time is ticking out for the Aquino administration as the ever-worsening poverty quickly propels the growing insurgency both in the rural and urban parts of the country,” she said.

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