The President’s men undermine peacetalks—Karapatan

While President Aquino urges Myanmar government to further its reforms in the light of the recent release of some 120 political prisoners in Myanmar, the President’s men issued statements that Malacanang is not inclined to release political prisoners who are in various jails all-over the country for fabricated charges. 

The recent statements of Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Edwin Lacierda and the head of the GPH peace panel Atty. Alex Padilla are alibis that the government dished out, contrary to its commitment “to undertake steps for the release of prisoners and detainees” as stated in the February 2011 Oslo Joint Declaration of the GPH and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). These statements undermine the on-going negotiations between the GPH and the NDFP. 

The demand to release political prisoners, especially the JASIG-protected persons, is  a just and reasonable demand, especially as most, if not all, of the 354 political prisoners are kept behind bars with trumped-up charges. The release of political prisoners should not have been a long running issue in the talks if only the government abides by its commitment and honor previous agreements entered into by the GPH, such as the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) ###


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