Human Rights and Peace Summit
July 21, 2006
By Senator Jamby A.S. Madrigal
Our nation now faces one of its darkest hours. Not only are we being ruled by a president hounded by illegitimacy; we are also ruled by a dictator who completely disregards human rights.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's lip service of respecting the right to life by spearheading the abolition of the death penalty has been overshadowed by the fact that almost everyday, an activist or journalist is extra-judicially killed or summarily executed and in some cases disappeared. This is a blatant human rights violation on the Filipino people's right to life and freedom of expression and opinion.
As a Senator, I have taken it upon myself to do what I can in the respect, protection and promotion of human rights. I have vehemently opposed and criticized the one billion-peso appropriation of the GMA government for the total war policy against communist insurgency. I am completely against Filipinos killing Filipinos. What I believe in is for the GRP and the NDFP to go back to the negotiating table and talk peace without preconditions as they have earlier agreed upon in the Hague Joint Declaration of 1992. What should be addressed are the root causes of the conflict. Killing fellow Filipinos is not the answer in ending a rebellion. Violence can never crush a 37-year old insurgency.
I join all of you as we mourn for our martyrs whose only crime was to disagree with the present government's policies.
I also call on all of you to support me in my continuing call for the resumption of the peace talks between the GRP and NDFP. Peace can never be achieved by war. Peace can only be achieved by genuine socio-economic reforms.
As your Senator, I commit to be with you in every step of the way as we seek for justice for all our fallen martyrs. I also commit that I will never waver in my call for resumption of peace talks despite all the attacks of Malacanang on my person.
There can be no true freedom without peace. Though our quest for peace, freedom and justice is an uphill climb, be assured that I am with you to stand up, speak out, and fight for our rights.
Kasihan nawa tayo ng Diyos.