Political prisoner’s death “under state fascism” reignites call for resumption of peace talks

January 11, 2016

By Karapatan ST

On the third day since the death of political prisoner and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Eduardo Serrano, a countless amount of people have rushed and mourned with his family, all the while remembering shared memories. They also united in condemnation of the sad plight of Serrano under the prisons of state forces for more than eleven years. Many believe that the incarceration, and the stress brought by the trial for trumped-up charges against him took a great toll on his health.

“Ka Eddik Serrano, a humble servant of the people, experienced severe inhumane treatment under the state’s confines of justice,” said Dorris Cuario, secretary-general of human rights group Karapatan Southern Tagalog.

Cuario mentioned that 555 other political prisoners, or those incarcerated for their political beliefs, languish in similar poor conditions, all the while facing cooked-up charges. In the case of Serrano, he was charged multiple murder, kidnapping and homicide charges as ‘Rogelio Villanueva’, an alleged high-ranking member of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Just recently, the Court of Appeals junked three of five cases against Serrano as evidence was lacking to prove Serrano’s identity with Villanueva’s.

She added that such actions of the Philippine government do not sit well with the peace negotiation agreements it entered in the past. The arrest and persecution of NDFP consultants like Serrano were clear violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

“Its disrespect for the agreements on the respect of human rights and peace shows the government’s insincerity to address the roots of the conflict and sit with the NDFP on the negotiating table. The Philippine government’s actions toward its colleagues in the negotiating table offend the very concepts of peace it so brazenly preaches,” added Cuario.

From the Church of Holy Sacrifice in the University of the Philippines – Diliman, Ka Eddik’s remains marched to Mendiola, the site of so many protests for justice and democracy.

Additionally, the groups called on to free all political prisoners, and resume the GRP-NDFP peace talks.

His remains were then delivered to his alma mater, the University of the Philippines – Los Baños tonight, as different ‘ Peoples’ Organizations from the Southern Tagalog region stage a grand tribute for Serrano, one of the region’s most esteemed freedom fighters.

Finally, his remains will be delivered to Naga in Camarines Sur, where he will be given final tributes and burial.

“The large crowds going to see and remember the life of Ka Eddik prove his innocence on the many charges hurled by the government against him, and show the US-BS Aquino regime’s belligerent poise against those demanding for genuine social change,” Cuario ended. ###

Reference person: Doris Cuario, Secretary General, KARAPATAN-Southern Tagalog, 0908.25.33.676