A GABRIELA-USA & BAYAN-USA Organization

GABRIELA Urges President Duterte to Continue the Peace Talks, Hands Off the NDFP Consultants!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2017
Reference: Irma Shauf-Bajar, National Chairperson, gabrielawomen@gmail.com
GABRIELA Urges President Duterte to Continue the Peace Talks,
Hands Off the NDFP Consultants!
GABRIELA USA denounce President Rodrigo Duterte’s pledge to arrest National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultants as they land in the Philippines from the Netherlands, the location for ongoing Peace Talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the NDFP. Duterte’s threat to arrest NDFP consultants and disregard of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) are a step back from the progress made during the four recently completed rounds of the Peace Talks. This, coupled with the GRP’s decision to end their participation in the fifth round and therefore temporarily halts the peace negotiations shows the unwillingness of Duterte and the GRP to move towards solutions for a just and lasting peace in the Philippines.
The fifth round of peace negotiations between the NDFP and the GRP were expected to continue with discussions regarding the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), a joint agreement that would address steps to solving underlying problems of the country such as poverty, landlessness, unemployment, social injustices, and armed conflict. The CASER emphasizes the social, economic, and cultural rights of women and children, and the subsequent discussions could have advanced the rights of the people. However, with the threat posed to NDFP consultants, it begs to question the sincerity of Duterte’s administration in advancing the people’s rights for justice.
In early April, the most recently completed fourth round of the peace talks was with regard to socio-economic reforms in the Philippines including the central issues of Agrarian Reform and rural development. The issue of land distribution has notable effects on women who are often doing back breaking work in fields next to menfolk and also doing the duties of the household. Many women are pushed from rural areas to urban centers to try their luck with exploitative work, often ending up with their families in shantytowns because of the lack of economic opportunities. The refusal of Duterte to continue peace talks signal his lack of concern in advancing the lives of both women and men who work and live in 75% rural provinces in the Philippines. GABRIELA USA recognizes that the peace talks can push central Filipino people’s issues forward and terminating these peace talks demonstrates a clear inconsistency with Duterte’s promises to “be a Filipino for Filipinos.”
Additionally, the discontinuation of the peace talks aggravates the already delicate political situation with the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao. The Duterte administration has already violated rights of the people in the Mindanao region in one week with clashes of violence in the city of Marawi to the AFP engaging in violent offenses in the entire Mindanao region. Organizations and civilians on the ground have reported incidents of unlawful detainment, harassment, food blockades, evacuations due to firefight, as well as injuries and deaths from AFP led aerial strikes. Women and children have always been the “collateral damage” in these situations and the continuation of this climate precludes safety and security for those most vulnerable. Just and lasting peace, not martial law, must be at the center of any solution to the problems which plague the Philippines.
GABRIELA USA reiterates the call for the continuation of the Peace Talks between the GRP and the NDFP, adherence to previously signed agreements in the peace process and the lifting of the Martial Law declaration in Mindanao. GABRIELA USA urges support for those affected by the violent clashes in Marawi and Mindanao and endorses the call for donations made by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns at http://nafconusa.org/2017/05/supportmarawiandmindanao/

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GABRIELA USA is a grassroots-based alliance of progressive Filipino women’s organizations in the United States seeking to wage a struggle for the liberation of all oppressed Filipino women and the rest of our people.
While we vigorously campaign on women-specific issues such as women’s rights, gender discrimination, violence against women and women’s health and reproductive rights, GABRIELA USA also addresses national and international economic and political issues that affects Filipino women.
GABRIELA USA is an overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines, and is a member organization of BAYAN USA and the International Women’s Alliance.
GABRIELAUSA.org
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GABRIELA USA is a grassroots-based alliance of progressive Filipino women’s organizations in the United States seeking to wage a struggle for the liberation of all oppressed Filipino women and the rest of our people.

While we vigorously campaign on women-specific issues such as women’s rights, gender discrimination, violence against women and women’s health and reproductive rights, GABRIELA USA also addresses national and international economic and political issues that affects Filipino women.
GABRIELA USA is an overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines, and is a member organization of BAYAN USA and the International Women’s Alliance.
GABRIELAUSA.org
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram
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