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PIA Press Release

Civil society urges NPA, AFP to respect human rights

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (19 October) -- A civil society group asked both the National People's Army and the military group to respect and implement CARHRIHL (Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law).

This was pushed after learning that there were 75 families or 600 IPs affected during an encounter in Carmen, North Cotabato.

Beatriz Colmo, representative of Sulong CARHRIHL a national network that promotes CARHRIHL and COMIPPA bared that most of the war encounters took place in areas resided by "lumads". Most of the war-town victims are IPs who constantly moved around just to move away from encounters between the armed groups and the military.

Despite the creation of the Joint Monitoring Committee, the mechanism used to implement CARHRIHL, many communities still continue to suffer human rights violations with the series of military offensives conducted and caused by both parties.

Sulong CARHRIHL appealed to both parties to resume talks and take up the other three agenda agreed under the Hague Declaration which includes economic and social reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and disposition of forces and end of hostilities.

Sr. Arnold Maria Noel, a member of Sulong CARHRIHL took time to convey the message to both parties as war conflict is the major root of poverty in war-stricken areas.

As representative of the group, she asked for the suspension of military offensives, respect and support to local peace initiatives, and civil society participation in the peace process.

The group also wanted to ensure that illegal and aggressive development projects like mining and logging would not involve military forces and paramilitaries. (PIA XI) [top]

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