The premier human rights umbrella in Cebu welcomes the signing by the peace panels of the  government and of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) of the supplemental guidelines of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) that leads to reactivation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

Approved previously by President Joseph Estrada and NDFP Chairperson Mariano Orosa in 1998, the CARHRIHL was not implemented by the government leading to the on-off progress and subsequent breakdown of the talks.

With the recent signing of supplemental guidelines of CARHRIHL, the Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples Rights (KARAPATAN)-Cebu hopes the implementation of the Agreement will be fast-tracked and the signing of the three remaining agenda boosted.

“We also hope that there will be no more obstacles to the release of all political prisoners in the country as provided for in Article 6, Part III, of CARHRIHL.  Releasing all political prisoners is a lithium test for the Digong administration.  If it cannot fully implement an agreement on human rights, how can it be expected to implement agreements on socio-economic reform, political reform and cessation of hostilities,” said Dennis Abarientos, Spokesperson of KARAPATAN-Cebu.

He added that the signing of the supplemental guidelines activates the JMC and the Joint Secretariat in governing and monitoring the implementation of CARHRIHL.

The group said that the reactivation of CARHRIHL is of utmost importance now in promoting human rights amidst the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country. ###


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