National Democratic Front peace consultant Concha Araneta says there is a need to popularize the issue of human rights even among students. (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/

UTRECHT, The Netherlands — One of the plans of the Joint Monitoring Committee of both the government and the National Democratic Front is to propose the inclusion of the CARHRIHL or the comprehensive agreement on the respect for human rights and the International Humanitarian Law in the curriculum of the Department of Education.

In the joint statement signed between the government and the NDF on Sunday, Oct. 9 in Oslo, Norway both Parties agreed to translate the CARHRIHL document in several local languages to be published in brochures, poster-making contest and calendar.

Concha Araneta, one of the peace consultants for the NDF and a member of the JMC said they have not yet detailed the plan but the proposal includes coming up with a module for secondary high school.

“This is part of the popularization of the issue of human rights among the public, especially the young people,” Concha told Davao Today in an interview here Thursday.

She said both Parties have yet to come up with details of the plan.

Joint trainings

Araneta said it was also agreed by both Parties that there will be trainings among the members of the secretariat of the JMC.

“This includes the members of the JMC of both the government and the NDF,” she said.

She said they plan to hold educational discussions on CARHRIHL to disseminate the information in the barangay level.

“That’s our initial discussion,” she said, adding that there are local governments who passed resolutions in support of the peace talks by holding fora.

The JMC also agreed to develop the monitoring system and the translation of the CARHRIHL document in different languages, including Capampangan, Pangasinense, Visayan, Ilonggo and Tagalog.

First agenda

The comprehensive agreement on the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law was the first substantive agreement signed by the Parties in 1998  “to affirm their constant and continuing mutual commitment to respect human rights and the principles of international humanitarian law and hereby recognize either Party’s acts of good intention to be bound by and to comply with the principles of international humanitarian law.”

“The JMC discussed its budget and agreed that the coverage is for 15 months, beginning October 2016 to December 2017,” the joint statement reads.

Araneta said the budget for the conduct of joint activities will be proposed by both Parties and will be shouldered by the Royal Norwegian Government who is acting as third party facilitator on the GRP-NDF peace negotiations.

The JMC members from the GRP panel are committee chairperson Atty. Efren C. Moncupa, and members Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano and Col. Facundo O. Palafox IV. The NDF JMC is chaired by Chief Negotiator Fidel Agcaoili, while the members are Connie Ledesma, Concha Araneta. Two independent observers were also present namely Fr. Rex Reyes of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and Angeles City Mayor, Edgardo Pamintuan. (

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