6 June 2006
GRP PANEL’S STATEMENT IS A COVER-UP OF ARROYO REGIME’S CULPABILITY IN ALARMING ESCALATION OF POLLITICAL KILLINGS
The GRP Panel is a part of and represents the Arroyo regime. Its statement dated June 1, 2006 blurs this. It claims that it “views with grave concern the mounting cases of killings of the media and progressive groups.”
It further claims to be particularly alarmed at the killing of Sotero Llamas. But it fails to mention that Sotero Llamas was on the wanted list of the Arroyo government, one of those it falsely charged with rebellion. In line with the regime’s evil concoction that the revolutionary movement is killing those who have left the movement, it maliciously states that Sotero Llamas was a “former consultant of the NDFP Panel”. Sotero Llamas was appointed by the NDFP Negotiating Panel as Political Consultant. His appointment was never withdrawn. His brutal assassination is a flagrant violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which guarantees safety and immunity to all those participating in the peace negotiations. Instead, it seems the JASIG is being turned into an arrest list, or worse, a hit list by the regime.
The GRP Panel’s claim of “grave concern” over “the mounting case of killings “ fails to mention that these killings are attributed – by witnesses, survivors of the assassinations, human rights and church organizations, Amnesty International and other international organizations, and parliamentarians from various countries – to killers from or connected with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, paramilitary and death squads of the Arroyo regime.
The NDFP Negotiating Panel has been raising the issue of human rights violations, including extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances, to the GRP and its negotiating panel since 2001. Representative Satur Ocampo of BAYAN MUNA party list raised these issues with Ms. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself eight times, according to his testimony before the Citizens Congress for Truth and Accountability presided by former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona. Yet, the political killings and disappearances have not stopped. They have escalated at an alarming rate of four killings and one disappearance every week since January 1, 2006.
Therefore, this lip service of the GRP Panel for the culture of peace, justice and freedom among our people, must be rejected as a further cover-up of the murderous, anti-people and anti-national Arroyo regime which has practically killed the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations by flagrantly violating the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the JASIG, and The Hague Joint Declaration.
Luis G. Jalandoni
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel