By Citizens Alliance for Just Peace
As March 16, 2016 marks the 18th anniversary of the hallmark Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the first substantive agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front-Philippines, the Citizen’s Alliance for Just Peace raises a collective voice to urge continued efforts to build toward peace, justice and human rights in the Philippines.
The Government of the Philippines including political parties, election candidates and the electorate should prioritize the people’s peace agenda in the election process. By reinvigorating expression of a common aspiration for a just and enduring peace, we hope to nurture the seeds of peace so dearly needed in our nation. Not only is this a fertile opportunity for Filipinos to discern and act on the peace platforms of national leaders, but it is also an essential time to continue the clamor for tangible efforts and concrete actions in building peace that addresses the roots of armed conflict.
As peace advocates, we also continue our call for a thorough and vibrant implementation of CARHRIHL as an essential building block of the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front-Philippines. Through embracing a common desire for the respect of human rights and international humanitarian law, we believe that both parties can be inspired to continue on the journey toward a negotiated political settlement through Peace Talks. We encourage confidence-building measures, principled and innovative resolution of issues and impasses, as well as creative spaces that welcome and promote dynamic participation from the peace constituency.
We choose hope for the future of our nation and will continue to pursue the road to a just and enduring peace for the Filipino people. Their cry for land to the tillers, decent jobs with decent pay, food on every table, equitable access to basic social services, and respect of the collective rights of indigenous peoples and the human rights of all persons will not be thwarted by hollow rhetoric. We must overcome every penchant for patronage-driven, privileged-centered politics and respond with integrity to the Filipino people’s clamor to build toward peace by addressing the roots of armed conflict in our nation.
Citizens Alliance for Just Peace
15 March 2016
Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, Jr, Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform
Bishop Arturo Asi, Pilgrims for Peace
Joeven Reyes, Sulong CARHRIHL
Beverly Orozco, Waging Peace Philippines
Interviews may be arranged through Media Liaison Rebecca Lawson, Pilgrims for Peace, 0928-385-4123.