The premier human rights umbrella KARAPATAN-Central Visayas is pushing for the formation of an independent monitoring body to observe the conduct of the proposed ceasefire between the armed forces of government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines during the yuletide.
Government and NDFP lead negotiators earlier agreed to “highly recommend to their national principals” the proposal for a ceasefire during the holidays. President Aquino yesterday ordered the suspension of military operations (Somo) against NPAs from Dec. 16 to midnight of Jan. 3, 2011.
KARAPATAN-CV is wary however that troops of AFP-Central Command would violate the ceasefire by launching military operations in the guise of “perimeter patrols” and “preemptive strikes”.
“Our records show that the 78th IB continues militarization of hinterland barangays even during Christmas. Thus, there is no let up in incidents of harassment, illegal arrests and interrogation, and forced surrenders of ordinary residents,” said Dennis Abarrientos, secretary-general of KARAPATAN-Central Visayas.
The group said the monitoring body could be composed of human rights advocates from the academe, church, and professionals.
It would be tackled during the Visayas-wide Human Rights Summit in Cebu on December 7, 2010. The summit is part of series of activities in commemoration of the Human Rights Week.