SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
Despite agreeing to a ceasefire which was to extend until January 15th the Aquino administration has refused to grant any extension passed January 2nd. The progressive national democratic alliance BAYAN issued this press release:
Malacanang and its spokespersons have no one to blame but themselves for the problems in the ceasefire with the New People’s Army. It is Malacanang who is responsible for nearly scuttling the synchronized ceasefire after failing to issue its own undertaking extending its own ceasefire up to January 15.
Facts are stubborn things. Facts will show that the NDF agreed to a synchronized ceasefire from December 20, 2012 to January 15, 2013, after a meeting with the GPH and Norwegian government in the Netherlands. Facts will show that the Aquino government failed to issue a similar undertaking extending its ceasefire from January 2 to January 15, 2013. The holiday ceasefire was supposedly to support peace efforts as well as relief and rehabilitation work in areas hit by typhoon Pablo. The development was welcomed by many supporters of the peace process.
Now if Malacanang cannot be relied upon to make timely actions on simple matters such as a ceasefire declaration, how can the people expect it to undertake more crucial decisions on more substantial issues contained in the peace negotiations? Malacanang appears to be not interested in pursuing serious peace negotiations to address the root causes of armed conflict in the country.
Peace advocates should hold Malacanang accountable for its failure to move forward with the peace negotiations, especially in light of an NDF proposal for an immediate truce based on principles which could end the armed conflict and address the national and democratic demands of the people.