The Canadian chapter of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, members of JustPeacePH-Canada, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and the Asia-Pacific Working Group of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation announced their support for the ongoing peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
An Open Letter to the Negotiating Panels of the GPH and the NDFP
7 October 2016
We, members of JustPeacePh – Canada, strongly support the resumption of the Peace Talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
We commend the Negotiating Panels of the GRP and NDFP for the success of the first round of formal talks in Oslo, Norway from 22 to 26 August 2016 with the affirmation of the Joint Declaration in The Hague and all the other previous agreements and their commitment to implement them. We further commend the good will shown by both panels during the just completed second round of talks. We welcome the determination of the GRP and NDFP panels to accelerate the progress of the Peace Talks and urge them to realize this commitment. We also welcome the important progress towards the release of all political prisoners.
We strongly believe that peace is not simply the absence of war. In the Philippines and other parts of the world, conflicts arise from popular discontent bred by conditions of poverty, inequity and repression.
In solidarity with the Filipino people, we call on the negotiating panels of the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to address the historical and systemic roots of poverty, inequities and oppression underlying the armed conflict in their comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms and political reforms.
The challenges of negotiating on these substantive issues will be enormous. We call on the GRP and NDFP panels to overcome the obstacles that could deter the peace negotiations. We urge the GRP and the NDFP to continue undertaking confidence-building measures in order to maintain a favourable condition for the peace negotiations to end the conflict, lay the grounds for a just and lasting peace and restore the hope of the Filipino people. Along this line, we urge the GRP negotiators to vigorously seek the release of all political prisoners, the enforcement of the ceasefire by returning military troops to their barracks and the immediate end of the killings and other forms of attacks against leaders of people’s organizations.
Malcolm Guy, International League of People’s Struggles (Canada)
Bern Jagunos, International Coalition on Human Rights in the Philippines (Canada)
Tess Tesalona, International Migrants Alliance (Canada)
Marie Boti, International Women’s Alliance (Canada)