Monday, February 27, 2017

Militants press for resumption of scuttled peace talks on 31st EDSA People Power anniversary

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb 25 (PNA) -- Hundreds of militant activists, led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Bicol, staged separate rallies in the cities of Legazpi, Naga and Sorsogon and Daet town on Saturday to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolt, according to Bayan-Bicol Spokesperson Vince Kasilihan.

In this city, a march was held from Pe┼łaranda Park, Albay District to the Pinaglabanan Monument in this city’s Central Business District.

The protesters urged the resumption of the peace talks between the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front and the government.

The militant groups include representatives from partylist Bayan Muna, Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas, Karapatan-Bicol, CONDOR (Concerned Drivers and Operators in Bicol Region), Gabriela, Kabataan partylist group and Selda-Bicol.

Kasilihan said that even if there were positive results attained in the initial round of the peace talks the prospects for a lasting peace were dimmed with the cancellation of the talks early in February.

He said the failed peace talks would lead to a “surge of human rights abuses in the form of illegal arrests, extra-judicial killings and militarization in the countryside.”

CONDOR also staged a protest against the phasing-out of public utility passenger jeepneys, aged 15 years old and above, while announcing that the group will join a nationwide jeepney strike on Monday.

As the phase out plan would greatly affect their livelihood. they want a revocation of the executive order on the old jeepneys’ phaseout.

Sr. Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, spokesperson of Police Regional Office in Bicol, said the commemoration of the EDSA People Power in Bicol was “generally peaceful” with no untoward incidents reported in the six provincial police offices and Naga City Police Office. (PNA) RMA/GVR/MSA/CBD/SSC