Student union intensifies calls for release of political prisoners, resumption of peace talks

June 15, 2016

By NUSP

The National Union of Students of the Philippines, along with other progressive youth groups and formations, trooped the Department of Justice Wednesday, June 15, to demand for the immediate release of political prisoners and the resumption of peace talks between the government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The youth groups slammed the Aquino administration for being inutile regarding the issues of political detainees and peace negotiations, stating that in his six years in office, nothing, literally, has been achieved.

“Aquino and his cohorts have been very vocal in their plans of sabotaging the peace process negotiations. Keeping the NDFP consultants and negotiators in custody due to trumped-up charges is a direct manifestation that this yellow administration is making a joke out of a vital component of peace process for the country to achieve the just and lasting peace longed for by its citizen. Ever since the beginning, Aquino has been the enemy of the Filipino people – an anti-peace president!” Kevin Castro, NUSP spokesperson started.

As of the present, some 561 political prisoners are still detained, all of which are conferred with trumped-up charges. 136 of these are youth political prisoners, 102 were put in jail under Aquino’s term. “For the entirety of Aquino’s stay at Malacanang, it is through his direct orders that various student leaders, one of them is Maricon Montajes, were deemed as enemies of the state. They were just fighting for the fundamental rights of the basic sectors of the society, but this reactionary government reckoned it as an act of subversion,” Castro continued.

Castro also noted that the Aquino administration is and will never be committed in resuming the peace negotiations with the NDFP. “Aquino is a devoted partner-in-crime of the United States of America in ensuring that the GPH favors the interest of the landlords and the big capitalists, not minding the welfare of the masses and Filipino people. He has no plans of cutting ties with the USA. He will always be a puppet president blindly following the neoliberal dictates of his real ‘boss,’” said Castro.

“Aquino must be put in jail for sabotaging peace process during his term, among all other things. It is undoubtedly just to release the 561 political prisoners, but it is more reasonable to put Aquino in jail once he steps out of office at June 30 for all of his criminal negligence to the Filipino people,” Castro stated.

The NUSP is also very hopeful with the prospects of peace talks under the Duterte administration. The student union is also optimistic that all political prisoners will be granted general amnesty to make sure they will be released as an initial step to continue the peace process negotiation.

“The student union is welcoming President-elect Duterte’s positive response regarding peace talks and the release of political prisoners. We are highly expecting that he will be firm with his words and make all of these a momentous reality. Once he accomplished these, he will, at great miles, be surpassing the abysmal feat of his predecessor – which is at actuality, did literally nothing,” Castro ended.

Reference: Kevin Castro, NUSP National Spokesperson (+63) 9154919286