We, workers of the Southern Tagalog region under the banner of the regional labor center PAMANTIK-KMU, welcome the newest addition to the advancement of the peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
The Oslo Joint Statement released earlier today has given another hope for the advancement of peace based on justice. We welcome and fully support the incoming Duterte administration’s sincerity in calling for the resumption of the peace talks, even before his inauguration.
We fully support the efforts in the resumption of the peace talks in July 2016. We expect more of such breakthroughs in the peace process in the following months.
We hope that the release of political prisoners, which were arrested because of their political beliefs – will immediately be released; and past agreements be respected and followed. We support the reconstitution of the list of consultants protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) in presentation of true sincerity in forwarding the talks.
In the Southern Tagalog region, we have constantly demanded the release of NDFP consultant on labor issues Rev. Ernesto Lorenzo, who was arrested in Gilmore last year. Rev. Lorenzo has constantly lent his aid in forwarding the workers’ interests, and with the aforementioned agreements, we expect the immediate release or Rev. Lorenzo.
It is to note that this is a stark contrast to the five-year stalling of the peace negotiations under the BS Aquino regime; which has also featured the incarceration of NDFP consultants, disrespecting past agreements and furthering warmongering and terror.
With these breakthroughs, we expect a genuine approach in solving the roots of the armed conflict in the country – which is the constant crisis of poverty and tribulations for the people. # # #