May 18, 2013 Leave a comment
Alex Padilla, the government of the Philippines peace panel chair, has unilaterally declared a suspension to peace talks with National Democratic Front of the Philippines via a statement to the Philippine media. The Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA) released a statement calling for a resumption of peace talks which was picked up in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Murray Horton of PSNA wrote:
President Aquino has three more years to disprove the growing criticisms about his administration’s human rights record and its sincerity in the peace process. If he fails to deliver on his promises to bring about better lives for the poor,
A number of people’s organisations in the Philippines, including human rights group Karapatan, have argued the suspension of peace talks will see an increase in human rights abuses not just against members of the underground New People’s Army but also the legal above ground left.
Unfortunately Karapatan’s predictions may have been proved right when Estelita “Nanay Neneng” T. Tacalan, a 60-year old peasant rights advocate, went missing. She was later surfaced to a prison. Auckland Philippines Solidarity released a statement calling for her to be released and an end of enforced disappearances of political activists:
“We have just heard that Estelita “Nanay Neneng” T. Tacalan, a 60-year old peasant rights advocate, went missing for 10 days. Though she was eventually surfaced by the military, it is deplorable that she now faces trumped-up charges – the same fate suffered by over 300 political prisoners in the Philippines. With the termination of GPH-NDFP peace talks, we fear the Aquino government will further ignore the calls to stop the abductions, killings and filing of trumped-up criminal charges against political activists,” Cameron Walker, spokesperson of Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS).