EBF STATEMENT CALLING FOR THE RESUMPTION OF THE GRP-NDFP PEACE TALKS | BICOL TODAY

EBF STATEMENT CALLING FOR THE RESUMPTION OF THE GRP-NDFP PEACE TALKS


“Jesus said, “Peace be with you!” Then he breathed on them and said,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.”  (John 20:21-22)

 As the Church enters Pentecost, the Ecumenical Bishops’ Forum (EBF) is delighted with the good tidings on the prospect of the resumption of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

 This sheds a glimmer of hope against the gloom that overshadowed the people’s aspiration for a genuine and lasting peace, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement of the termination of the peace talks in November 2017.

 EBF challenges the GRP and NDFP to show honest gestures that will ensure the success of the peace negotiations. We demand both parties to:

·  RESUME the peace talks with greater commitment to the Filipino people’s aspirations for a just and lasting peace in the country.

For one, it is imperative to address the continuing detention of NDFP peace consultants both as a matter of compliance with previously-signed agreements and of justice. In this light, we call on the GRP to release political prisoners who are detained due to fabricated criminal charges. The government must likewise stop from criminalizing the legitimate struggles of the people by proscribing them as terrorist acts.

·   HONOR the mutually-accepted agreements and documents that they have signed both in their informal and formal negotiations.

This means ensuring the protection of the rights and welfare of the people in relation to the ongoing armed conflict and the protection and safety guarantees for those participating in the peace process, respectively, as embodied in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

·   ADDRESS the historical roots of the armed conflict in the country which is widespread social inequality and economic disparity.

This means reaching an agreement on basic social and economic reforms that will uplift the lives of the poor majority of the Filipino people, seeking to resolve the long-standing issues of chronic poverty, hunger, joblessness, rural deprivation, homelessness, labor exploitation, and wealth disparity, among others, as presented in the proposed reforms contained in the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

The Filipino people deserve nothing less than peace based on justice, and this is the most compelling reason for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace talks. We, therefore, urge both parties to demonstrate reciprocity in the course of the negotiations as its success greatly depends on their sincerity to attain a just and lasting peace for the country and the Filipino people.

May God breathe us his Spirit of peace to accompany us in our exodus towards a nation where everyone can enjoy the fruits of a just peace. Let us pray for God’s Spirit to descend upon us and in all His power heal the wounds of our land.  

For God’s people,                 

BISHOP DEOGRACIAS S. INIGUEZ, JR.
Co-chairperson

THE RT. REVD. FELIXBERTO L. CALANG
Co-chairperson               

 Pentecost Sunday, May 20, 2018

 

Posted by on May 20, 2018. Filed under Nation,Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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