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Karapatan expresses concern over attacks vs civilians amid all-out war

/ 03:19 PM February 09, 2017

A human rights group on Thursday warned that an all-out war against the New People’s Army (NPA) may result in violence against civilians and local communities.

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said the attacks “against the people are bound to continue, or even escalate” now that the peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) have collapsed.

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After both sides terminated the ceasefire, President Rodrigo Duterte called on the military to be ready to fight. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they are now facing an “all-out war because they (NPA) are considered by the President already as terrorists.”

READ: Gov’t declares all-out war on Reds

Palabay said Lorenzana is lying by saying that “there will be no human rights violations despite the military’s declaration of an all-out war against the New People’s Army (NPA).”

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Meanwhile, Karapatan called on Duterte to reconsider his position and continue the peace talks with the NDF, the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, “especially after the progress made in the draft agreements on socio-economic reforms.”

The Philippine government and the NDF have been making headway in drafting the required agreements that would pave the way for the final peace pact before the NPA, the CPP’s military arm, terminated the ceasefire due to the delayed release of political prisoners.

Palabay pointed out that military occupation of schools and farmers’ communities continues. She also cited several instances of supposed “state terrorism.”

She mentioned the killings of Matanem Lorendo Pocuan and Renato Anglao of Bukidnon, of Emelito Rotimas of Compostela Valley. They were all lumad or local leaders who opposed the entry of businesses or military in their ancestral land. RAM

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TAGS: civilians, Karapatan, New People’s Army, NPA, President Rodrigo Duterte
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