Anti-peace Lorenzana should resign over the suspension of 5th round of peace talks
– Fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday slammed and urged Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to quit his post over the suspension of the 5th round of peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
The 5th round of peace talks was supposed to start on Saturday when the GRP peace panels withdrew from the negotiation as they demand for an “enabling environment conducive to achieving just and sustainable peace in the land”.
For its part, the fisherfolk group said the 5th round of peace talks is one of the extensive parts of the negotiations for it will tackle the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) that will resolve the long-standing problem besetting the Filipino people which are landlessness and lack of adequate jobs.
“It is so unfortunate that the peace talks have been put on hold when it was supposed to discuss the social and economic reforms that include rural development and providing jobs to millions of our people. The suspension of the talks clearly shows that the Duterte administration is not ready to address the long standing clamor of the Filipino people for land and social justice,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA is certain that behind the interruption of peace talks are the military generals in the Duterte cabinet particularly Department of Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who expressed earlier pronouncements that the peace talks with the reds should be put on hold unless its armed-wing New People’s Army (NPA) will cease from its tactical offensives against government forces.
“Secretary Lorenza displays his gross ignorance on the dynamics of the peace process. First and foremost, the cessation of hostilities is not the precondition for the two conflicting parties to come face-to-face in the peace negotiating table. The absence of hostilities will be achieved by addressing its roots which are landlessness, poverty and social injustice. Lorenzana only wants the struggling people to capitulate without actually resolving the cause of the resistance,”
“Defense Chief Lorenzana is highly dangerous. We can’t expect these peace negotiations to prosper when this anti-peace is in the picture. Thus, we call on this peace-saboteur and warmongering Secretary to tender his resignation and pursue permanent vacation from his post for the sake of achieving just and lasting peace in the country,” ended Hicap. ###