NDFP peace consultant protests Aquino regime's failure to advance peace talks
The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines today expressed firm support for the 12-day hunger strike of NDFP Consultant Ramon Patriarca. Detained at Camp Lapu-lapu in Cebu City, Patriarca started his hunger strike on 11 July to end on 22 July when President Aquino will give his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
In a statement released to the media, Patriarca condemned President Aquino for failing to respect binding peace agreements forged by the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) with the NDFP. He criticized Aquino for not respecting the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), and instead abducting, torturing and detaining NDFP personnel involved with the peace negotiations.
Patriarca also criticized the GPH president for refusing to release political prisoners in accordance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). He slammed the Aquino administration for causing the number of political prisoners to increase beyond 400.
In his statement on his hunger strike, Patriarca underlined the “miserable failure” of Aquino to advance the peace talks with the NDFP.
Top officials of the Aquino government have publicly declared the termination of the peace talks, seemingly not aware of provisions in the JASIG stipulating that a written notice of termination must be given first to the other Party.
Patriarca explained that despite repeated demands by various peace advocates for the resumption of peace talks, the Aquino regime has embarked on escalated militarization in accordance with the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan counter-insurgency program. Oplan Bayanihan is a militarist scheme based on the triad strategy of combat, intelligence and civil-military operations.
Luis G. Jalandoni, Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, extended solidarity with Patriarca's hunger strike. “His courageous militant action underlines the increasing opposition of the Filipino people against the Aquno regime, in the face of repeated oil price hikes, ever increasing prices of basic commodities, costs of water, electricity, transportation, and other services.”