Posted by: kawagib | September 26, 2007

The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) postponed the GRP-MILF 14th Exploratory Talks which supposedly scheduled on August 22-24, 2007 at Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

GRP postponed peace talks for the second time this year. The first was on May which the government asked for the postponement due to the coming of the May 14 elections. Now, they made the postponement for the reason of not having a “guidelines”.

Kawagib Moro Human Rights organization dismayed over the postponement of the peace talk because this will only show the insincerity of the government to address the Mindanao problem.

The government should help the public distinguish between the Abu Sayyaf Group and the MILF. The postponement and the inclusion of the 67 MILF members in the warrant of arrest are sending signals that the government is also running after them not only after the ASG.

If President Arroyo is really sincere on having peace talks with the MILF she should restrain the marines from conducting military offensives in Sulu and Basilan. She must draw the line between the justice and vengeance. She should not whip up the AFP’s cry for blood.

The pursuit of a small member of bandits is affecting the whole population. They do not distinguish their targets because even civilians become the victims of the “intensive military offensives” in Basilan and Sulu ordered by Arroyo.

Arroyo should also consider the welfare of the civilians in Mindanao that have been suffering from her wars for six years now. They were forced to leave their ancestral land to escape from the bombs and bullets targeting their communities.

Civilians have been suffering indiscriminate firings, aerial bombardment and tagged as sympathizers of the Abu sayyaf if not members of the “terrorists” group.

The case of Sarah Lumandong, 25 years old who suffered wounds from the shrapnel of military’s mortar while having “ground tests” in their community in Basilan. Another was the killing of 14 years old Abdulhakim Abilul in Indanan, Sulu who accused by the military as member of the Abu sayyaf. These are only some of the cases of human rights violations against the Moro people in Mindanao .

Now the number of evacuees has been increasing since the “intensive military offensive” in Sulu and Basilan against the alleged perpetrators of the July 10 incident started.

The MILF has long offered partnership with the GRP in running after the bandits and gave way to the AFP in hunting them yet they keep on postponing the peace talks.

Kawagib Moro human rights organization urges the government to show their sincerity in bringing peace in Mindanao and resume peace talks with the MILF.

The government should consider the condition of the civilians in the area who become the usual victims when there are military operations in the guise of pursuing the “terrorists”.

 

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