Day: December 6, 2008

Government peace panel head Nieves Confesor said on Friday, December 5, that the Arroyo government is now ready to resume peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). She also said that both panels agreed to a ceasefire as a “good will and confidence-building measure”. But Confesor’s seeming optimism is not being shared by the NDFP. The NDFP released two press statements, December 4 and 6, saying that the informal talks actually hit a snag over the issue of ceasefire with the government trying to convert the talks into surrender negotiations.

Various groups have called for a review of the Paris Principles, the new guidelines adopted by the United Nations (UN) in defining child soldiers. By not distinguishing between combatants and non-combatants, the Paris Principles, they said, place children in rebel-influenced areas in danger as they are de-facto labeled as child soldiers and therefore, open targets…

After being missing for six days, an abducted Moro activist was found in Camp Crame, slapped anew with kidnapping charges already dismissed in 2005. A human rights leader expressed fears that a police crackdown on Moros has been launched, yet again. BY DEE AYROSO HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH Bulatlat For six days, Ahmad Hamja had desperately…

A literary critic described the former political detainee’s poems as ‘among the best to have come from the ranks of Philippine protest poets.’ A National Artist for Literature also praised Axel Pinpin’s courage to write poems while in detention. Tugmaang Matatabil (Mga Akdang Isinulat sa Libingan ng mga Buhay) is Pinpin’s second full-length book of…

The Arroyo regime is hell-bent on ramming through Mrs. Arroyo’s devious schemes to remain in power, no matter how isolated from and detested by an overwhelming majority of our people. Mrs. Arroyo’s railroading of Charter change (dubbed “Chacha”) will isolate her more and rush her rule headlong to political self-destruction. BY CAROL PAGADUAN-ARAULLO Streetwise/Business World…