NDFP says Martial Law will impact ongoing GRP-NDFP peace talks

May. 25, 2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines– The National Democratic Front said the ​imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao will have a negative implication in the ongoing peace talks with the government.

Placing the entire Mindanao, according to NDFP, “​would only aggravate the worsening human rights situation in the country because it curtails the freedom of the people.”​

The communist group feared that the imposition of Martial Law would open the floodgates of gross human rights violations.

“It curtails their freedom of movement and other freedoms. Martial Law transfers these freedoms to the military and subjects the people to abuse. Under martial law, it is the military, these notorious abusers of human rights, who rule,” the communist group said in a statement on Thursday, May 25.

“The GRP must be made to answer for these gross violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). These are in addition to the outstanding issues of close to 500 political prisoners who remain detained under the Duterte government, as well as the growing list of human rights violations perpetrated by the AFP under its Oplan Kapayapaan,” the NDFP added.

The NDFP also criticized GRP chief negotiator Silvestre Bello III for saying that the Communist Party of the Philippines has made an error in calling on its armed-wing, the New People’s Army to intensify its tactical offensives against the government’s soldiers.

Earlier, the CPP has ordered the NPA to mount more attacks in response to the government’s declaration of Martial Law. “The Party calls on the NPA to plan and carry out more tactical offensives across Mindanao and the entire archipelago.”

Bello argued that the Martial Law declaration in Mindanao is not against the NPA. But the NDFP said “Duterte’s Martial Law is against the NPA, it is against the people in general. It curtails the people’s civil and political rights.”

“As Duterte’s Martial Law is against the people, it is imperative for the New People’s Army (NPA) to take action to oppose and fight it in order to defend the people’s rights and interests,” the group said.

The NDFP said that if it was true that Martial Law in Mindanao is not directed against the NPA, then Bello must inform Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who announced in a televised press briefing that NPA was one of the government’s “problems” why the entire Mindanao had to be put under Martial Law.

Meanwhile, the NDFP branded Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as “overzealous Martial Law supporter” after she issued a 30-point guidelines on Wednesday for Davao City residents to follow as a pre-emptive measures while Martial Law is in effect.

The communist group, in particular, criticized the local chief executive after 250 individuals were rounded-up by authorities on Thursday for their failure to comply what the NDFP described as “arbitrary rules imposed by the military and the militarist-minded bureaucrats.”

“With these stringent policies, Duterte is demonstrating that under his Martial Law, everyone is a suspect until they can prove otherwise. As every Filipino knows, especially the poor and downtrodden, proving one’s innocence to the military is often impossible,” it said. (davaotoday.com)

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