NUPL welcomes gov’t’s Christmas truce with NPA rebels
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a ceasefire with the New People’s Army (NPA) amid the government’s “terrorist-tagging” against the rebels.
NUPL president Atty. Edre Olalia said the considered a “positive move” for the sake of the people and the protection of their rights in this “season of hope.”
“While the declaration seems incongruous amidst the unilateral termination of the peace negotiations, the terrorist-tagging and demonization, the extension of martial law in Mindanao and its possible nationwide imposition, and the threatened crackdown on dissenters, it may, still and all, be considered a positive move for the sake of the people and the protection of their rights in this season of hope,” Olalia said in a statement on Wednesday.
However, Olalia said that since the declaration is “not totally unexpected,” it should be welcomed with “abundance of caution.”
“We should be wary that this is not but another ruse to deflect its proven refusal and inability to genuinely address and resolve the roots of the prolonged armed conflict or is just another populist gimmick,” Olalia said.
Duterte declared a suspension of military operations against the communist rebels, presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced on Wednesday.
“This unilateral ceasefire would lessen the apprehension of the public this Christmas season. We expect that the CPP-NPA-NDFP would do a similar gesture of goodwill,” Roque said in a statement.
“In the observance of this occasion, we hope that all Filipinos would stand together as one nation and aspire for peace in our beloved Philippines,” he said.
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