18 January 2017
References: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio (0920-922-0817) and Rep. France Castro (0920-969-8457)
Solons call for peace talks, release of political prisoners
As the third round of negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is set to open at Rome, ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio and Rep. France Castro called for the immediate release of all political prisoners and to push the peace talks.
“We demand the immediate release of the political prisoners especially those who are old and sick, including our colleagues in the education sector Amelia Pond and Dominciano Muya, Lumad educators of Davao; Rhea Pareja, volunteer teacher of Quezon; and Rene Boy Abiva, an organizer of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)-Cagayan Valley chapter. The political prisoners are victims of trumped-up charges. They were arrested and detained as criminals while serving the poor and marginalized and fighting for basic human rights,” Tinio stressed.
“We also demand an end the militarization in rural areas and indigenous peoples’ communities where red-tagging, threats, and harassment are unleashed upon the community, teachers, and students. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) must end its operations and be held accountable for these acts and for violating the government’s own ceasefire,” Castro said.
“We also call for the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), which will ensure that the violence against civilian communities will never happen again,” Tinio added.
The other draft agreements for discussion include the comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms (CASER), the comprehensive agreement on political and constitutional reforms, and the comprehensive agreement on the end to hostilities and disposition of forces.
“We hope that the talks will lead to the just and lasting peace, a peace based on the fulfillment of the people’s demands for land reform, decent salary, work, education and other basic human rights,” Castro ended. ###