DESPITE TALKS OF RENEGOTIATION: INTENSIFIED MILITARIZATION, ARROYO’S DDR TO ERODE MUTUAL CONFIDENCE IN GRP-MILF PEACE TALKS

Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Largoza Maza today renewed calls for the immediate cessation of hostilities and bombings in contested areas in Mindanao and for the immediate resumption of peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“The call for peace is urgent. Intensified militarization will only further erode the mutual confidence required for the resumption of peace negotiations between the government and the MILF.”

“The Arroyo government should make good in proving its sincerity in going back to the negotiating table. Genuine talks for peace cannot resume on President Arroyo’s framework of disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation,” said Maza.

It is estimated that over 220,000 individuals have now been displaced in the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte. Evacuees composed mostly of women, children and the elderly. Evacuation centers remain crowded amid insufficient food, water and sanitation which now put children vulnerable to diseases.

The Gabriela solon also criticized the AFP’s plans of arming more civilians in the area as the latest proof of the government’s insincerity in the peace process, in addition to its evil agenda of charter change and term extension in the aborted MOA-AD.

“This move courts war and bloodshed, proof that peace may very well be last on the Arroyo government’s agenda in Mindanao. Arming civilians is a sure fire way of escalating the war and is clearly not a step towards the resolution of issues long raised by the Bangsamoro people in their armed struggle.” #

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Filed under Liza Maza, Militarization, Mindanao, News Release

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