The government and rebels have long been clashing and peace negotiations have been attempted several times, but to no fruition.
Controversial and notorious for his consistent presence on the streets, protester and Secretary General of BAYAN Renato Reyes Jr. urges President Rodrigo Duterte to pursue peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
Reyes emphasized that the succession of Martial Law, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and militarizing Mindanao communities has created a tension between the government and rebels.
Instead of resorting to “peace talks hostage” by use of ceasefire agreements, Reyes said that Duterte should make a serious consideration for peace instead of forcing the other side to surrender first.
Reyes says that the second year of Duterte is worsening, thus, peace negotiations that tackle the grassroots of armed conflict must commence in order to arrive at just and lasting peace between the government and NDFP.
In his full post on Facebook, Reyes said,
“Bayan to Duterte: We want peace in this lifetime
President Duterte, the people desire a just peace in this lifetime. This can be realized through peace negotiations that address the root causes of the armed conflict. Words do not count for much if there are no agreements made between the two contending parties. The GRP claims to be for peace yet it fails to uphold human rights, has imposed Martial Law, and has militarized communities. We strongly urge the GRP to continue peace talks with the NDFP with the objective of forging agreements on substantive issues such as socio-economic and political reforms. The GRP should stop holding the peace talks hostage by making unreasonable and unrealistic ceasefire demands that only skirt the issue of fundamental reforms. It cannot seriously expect peace talks to prosper if its opening demand is for the other side to surrender. That goes against the very nature of the talks. Seriousness and sincerity in peace negotiations are measured in terms of the readiness to forge agreements on substantive issues. The crisis faced by the Duterte government as it enters its second year is worsening. It’s time for it to make serious its promise of a just peace for the people. Whatever the decision of Duterte may be, so long as the crisis persists, the struggle for a just and lasting peace will continue.”
Source: Renato Reyes
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