NDFP claims “no real incentives to work for a more stable ceasefire agreement”
There are no “real incentives to work for a more stable ceasefire agreement” with the Philippine government, said the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in a statement Friday.
Benito Tiamzon, a member of the NDFP peace panel, said “continuing military operations (and numerous violations committed by Government of the Republic of the Philippines forces, particularly its military, police and paramilitary forces) "are making the situation on the ground untenable and endangering even the fragile unilateral ceasefires currently in place."
Tiamzon said military and police operations are in the guise of "peace and development" operations and even the anti-drug campaign.
Tiamzon cited figures from human rights watchdog Karapatan there were 16 cases of political killings and 16 frustrated extrajudicial killings from July to September. There are also more than 13,000 victims of forced evacuations, mostly farmers and
national minorities in areas targeted by military operations.
The Philippines and the NDFP are seeking to forge a bilateral ceasefire agreement by the end of November or early December..
The NDFP statement said “unilateral ceasefires have been in place since the first round of the peace talks ended in the last week of August, with both parties agreeing to sign a ‘single unified bilateral ceasefire agreement’ in sixty days, or by October 26. The unilateral ceasefires remain valid in the absence of a notice of termination by either side, the NDFP said.
Tiamzon said aside from 21 NDFP consultants and staff granted conditional bail last August, not a single political prisoner has been freed through the peace process.
"This is despite continuing pronouncements from the GRP that it would comply with its commitments in accordance with the Oslo Joint Statements of June 15, August 26 and October 9, 2016 to release the political prisoners," said Tiamzon.
There are more than 400 political prisoners still in various jails, including three NDFP consultants at New Bilibid Prisons, the NDFP said. DMS