Press Statement – President Aquino’s sincerity in the peace negotiation, both with the MILF and NDFP, is put to a tough test today in light of the renewed political crisis in Mindanao.
The 57 extrajudicial killings highlighted by the recent murder of Fr. Fausto Tentorio under his one-year old administration; the NPA attacks against three destructive mining companies operating in Surigao; and the ongoing AFP-MILF armed confrontations in Basilan, Zamboanga Sibuguey and Lanao, should have prompted President Aquino to take more decisive steps to resume the stalled peace talks with the MILF and the NDFP.
Impunity and worsening human rights violations, destructive large scale mining operations in indigenous people’s ancestral lands and militarization, are long standing issues of the people that need to be discussed and addressed in the peace talks. Social and justice issues are roots of the decades-old armed rebellion in Mindanao that President Aquino promised to resolve.
Military solution, like all-out war, now pushed by the followers and loyalists of two militarist Presidents of the Philippines, Marcos and Estrada, both ousted by people’s uprisings, has been historically proven to be ineffective and anti-people. The likes of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Panfilo Lacson are incorrigible fascists and unrepentant human rights violators.
Amidst calls from his allies to launch all out war against the MILF and to end the peace talks, President Aquino reiterated that he would “continue with its peace negotiation with the MILF”. The interfaith rights group, Moro-Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA), challenges the President to translate his words into action because his men’s actions on the ground show differently.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) headed by Secretary Ging Deles and the negotiating panels headed by Atty. Marvic Leonen (for the GPH-MILF peace talks) and Atty. Alex Padilla (for the GPH-NDF peace talks) attack and accuse the MILF and NDF of derailing the peace talks. Until now, the peace talks are stalled and there are no concrete signs that these will progress and move forward.
Now the Armed Forces of the Philippines, with his tacit directive, have started ‘pursuit operations against criminal elements’’ signaled with massive air strikes. President Aquino has categorically stated that he will not wage all out war against the MILF but his all out justice operations has all the characteristics of Estrada and Arroyo’s all-out war against the MILF and the Moro people.. The MCPA assails Aquino’s call for All Out Justice as a veiled All Out War.#
Spokesperson, Moro-Christian People’s Alliance