June 25, 2017

NUSP denounces GRP’s unreasonable demands which disrupt the 5th round of peace talks

The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) denounces the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in disrupting the formal peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) by sidelining the substantive agenda on social and economic reforms and raising unreasonable demands.

The GRP Negotiating Panel demands the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to withdraw its order to the New People’s Army (NPA) to defend the Filipino people and carry out more tactical offensives in response to the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, and the NDFP to immediately sign a joint ceasefire agreement even without the necessary agreements on social, economic, and political reforms in place. Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Deruza said that the GRP will not participate in the scheduled fifth round of peace talks in The Netherlands until there is an “enabling environment” for both parties.

“The GRP Negotiating Panel’s maneuver reeks of hypocrisy since GRP President Rodrigo R. Duterte imposed martial law in Mindanao on the narrow pretext of the Marawi City terror attack. By subjecting the Filipino people to military rule, GRP President Duterte himself has practically ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to carry out more human rights violations with extreme impunity,” said NUSP National Spokesperson Mark Vincent Lim.

“The unreasonable demands of the GRP Negotiating Panel reflect that its security cluster is only after the pacification and capitulation of the people’s revolutionary movement through a combination of an all-out war policy, martial law, and lopsided joint interim ceasefire agreement. In fact, GRP Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana reportedly said that the NPA is among the targets of Martial Law in Mindanao,” added Lim.

“The Union calls on both parties to resume the fifth round of peace talks and to discuss the substantive agenda of social and economic reforms. Socio-economic reforms such as democratic access to social services, genuine land reform, and national industrialization are necessary to address the roots of the decades-long poverty and armed conflict in the country,” said Lim.

“We also call on the Filipino youth and the general public to mount sustained protests nationwide as we demonstrate our firm opposition to Martial Law and our firm resolve for just and lasting peace,” concluded Lim.

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