People’s organizations draw up Peace and Human Rights agenda for Duterte's 1st 100 days

"Resume formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, in accordance with previously signed bilateral agreements, and pursue a genuine and sincere Moro peace process which will address the roots of decades-long armed conflict in Muslim Mindanao."
These are among the top agenda of people’s organizations, human rights and peace advocates for the first 100 days of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. Said agenda will be presented tomorrow, eve of Duterte's inauguration, at the National People's Summit spearheaded by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. 

"We have witnessed a wanton disregard of people’s rights and the prevalent climate of impunity and unpeace, especially under the Benigno S. Aquino III presidency. Fulfillment of this human rights and peace agenda for the first 100 days of the Duterte presidency will be a step forward to counter this situation," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said. 

The immediate release of political prisoners, including NDFP peace consultants and Jasig-protected persons, and dropping of all trumped up criminal charges against political activists and human rights advocates are also among the primary concerns in the agenda. "Political prisoners who are sick, elderly, nursing mothers, among others, must also be released for humanitarian reasons," Palabay stated. 

The groups also called for the prosecution, arrest, and punishment of all human rights violators in the military and police who promoted, abetted and condoned the killing of peasants and Lumad, and caused the forcible evacuation of thousands through military operations. 

“US-driven counter-insurgency programs such as Oplan Bayanihan and projects under the guise of civil-military operations like the Whole of Nation Initiative should be junked altogether. Further, the budget for Oplan Bayanihan should be used to indemnify the victims of human rights violations and for the rehabilitation of victims of forcible evacuations,” Palabay said.

Relatives of victims of human rights violations want Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo transferred to civilian detention facilities. Both, they said, are receiving special treatment at the custody of the Philippine Army in Camp Bonifacio and Veterans Memorial Hospital respectively.

The groups will also present medium-term reforms, including a halt to "violations of people’s social, economic and cultural rights, their collective and individual rights, e.g. unlivable wages, contractualization, landgrabbing, land conversion, forced eviction/demolition, discrimination against women, indigenous people, Moro people, persons with disabilities & LGBTs, violations of migrant’s rights, commercialization of education, privatization of hospitals and other basic social services." 

The People’s Agenda for Peace and Human Rights is a product of workshops and focus group discussions of people's organizations, peace and human rights advocates, victims of human rights violations and their kin, and media practitioners. ###