Peace network calls for resumption of talks
Sulong CARHRIHL, a network with over 140 partner organizations nationwide advocating for the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the first substantive agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and National Democratic Front (NDF) in 1998, calls on both parties to immediately resume the peace talks. With the main banner “Implement CARHRIHL! Stop the Violence! Protect Civilians! Peace Now!” the group represents the resounding calls of the communities affected by the protracted conflict.
In the documentation spearheaded by the network’s Monitoring and Action Response (MAR) Program, concrete community experience of armed conflict would attest to the situation in the grounds. The network’s study shows that after the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire declarations of both parties and the breakdown of the talks last year, CARHRIHL violations have increased due to the intensification of offensives by NPAs and military against each other. Caught in the middle of this long standing and destructive conflict are the people in the communities, deprived of a normal community life.
“Based on the documentation work that Sulong CARHRIHL does, through the reports of our partners and volunteers on the ground, 2017 saw an increase in CARHRIHL-related violations from harassment, displacements, arrests and killing brought about by the intensified clashes between NPA and military forces to Grave Child’s Rights Violations (GRCV) such as recruitment, attacks on schools and killing and maiming of children. Lahat ng partner namin sa ground ay nangamba at natakot para sa kanilang mga sarili at komunindad lalo na nung parteng nagdeklara ang gobyeno at NPA na patitindihin nila and pag-atake sa isa’t isa. At ganoon nga ang nangyari”. Joeven Reyes, Sulong CARHRIHL Executive Director said.
Reyes also added that women, children and Indigenous communities are the most vulnerable and affected in the time of intensified conflict. “Kaming mga katutubo sa aming mga komunidada ang parating nagagambala at nagiging biktima ng armadong tunggalian. Kaya kami ay naniniwala at kumakapit sa mekanismo ng CARHRIHL para sa aming proteksyon.” shared a Dumagat partner of the network.
Violations against human rights defenders and advocates have also been rampant last year.
CARHRIHL is a crucial and important mechanism that ensures human rights are upheld and respected, international humanitarian law is considered, and that the victims’ grievances are acted upon so that justice can be met.
The network believes that peace talks are imperative and fundamental in resolving the very roots of the armed conflict and pave the way for lasting peace in the country. “The discussion on the Socio-Economic agenda in the peace talks should continue, so the plight of workers, Indigenous peoples and other vulnerable sector could be addressed” stressed a Sulong partner from the workers sector.
“And while we appeal to the GRP and the NDFP, the main parties to the conflict, we also urge the people to support the quest for peace in the country. Let us not lose hope for peace. Peace is possible though our joint and collective efforts.” Reyes appealed to the public.
Sulong CARHRIHL Network through its partners is currently doing a massive information drive and signature campaign to show both parties that people are calling for peace and urging them to resume the talks.
Sulong CARHRIHL invites the media for a press briefing, today, April 10, 9:30AM at the Network’s office, 6-A Malamig St. Teachers’ Village, Diliman, Quezon City (Near Claret School and Puregold Kalayaan). The briefing paper as well as the documentation of violations from both sides of the conflict will be presented.
Peace Advocacy and networking Officer
0998 953 4092
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