Social justice, poverty alleviation key to ending armed conflict in PH, says militant group
MANILA, Philippines – Armed conflict can only be resolved if human rights and national sovereignty are upheld, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. said on Saturday.
“Ang armadong sigalot sa bansa ay matatapos lamang kung tutugunan ang mga batayang kahilingan ng mamamayan tulad ng lupa para sa magsasaka, paggalang sa karapatang pantao at pambasang soberanya, pagpawi sa kahirapan at pag-iral ng katarungan,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday.
(Armed conflict in the country will end only if the appeals of our countrymen are heard, including land for farmers, respect for human rights and national sovereignty, eradication of poverty and the presence of justice.)
He added that the government should pursue peace talks with armed groups involved in insurgency in the countryside.
Reyes also pushed for the abolition of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), the government’s anti-insurgency task force.
“Ang NTF Elcac ay militarisasyon ng buong gobyerno sa ngalan ng whole of nation approach laban sa insurgency. Nangingibabaw ang military sa mga sibilyan, de facto Martial Law,” he said.
(“The NTF Elcac [allows for] militarization by the government through a whole of nation approach against insurgency. In this set-up, the military dominates over civilians, a de-facto Martial Law.”)
Two months ago, the task force, including former spokesperson Antonio Parlade Jr. came under fire for red-tagging, a concern which government critics said should not be dismissed since suspected rebels have been killed under this administration.
Reyes said red-tagging is not the only issue since extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests and other forms of human rights violations are still taking place.
“Lumala ang paglabag sa karapatang pantao dahil sa NTF Elcac (Violations against human rights are getting worse because of the NTF ELCAC),” Reyes added.
Earlier this month, the Senate panel cut the proposed budget for the NTF Elcac by P24 billion, leaving the task force with a P4 billion allocation next year.
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