February 14, 2011
In the light of the impending resumption of formal peace talks between the Government o the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Norway, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), a bar association of human rights lawyers in the Philippines, strongly supports the calls for the unconditional release of all political prisoners in the country.
Atty. Julius Garcia Matibag, NUPL National Spokesperson, stated that they are joining the calls of all peace-loving Filipinos for the unconditional release of all political prisoners. “The Aquino government should look at this as an outstanding opportunity to demonstrate good faith and goodwill in its quest for the resolution of the armed conflict in the country. It is also a basic issue of justice.”
Atty. Matibag added that the NUPL would support a principled general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty for all political prisoners. There are 344 political prisoners in the country, 290 of which were arrested during the regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and about 14 of them are reportedly NDFP consultants covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).
“We are likewise hoping for the success of the peace negotiations. We are looking forward to finding a genuine resolution of the roots of the armed conflict in the Philippines” added Matibag.
Peace advocates are set to march to Mendiola on Valentine’s Day to demand the release of political prisoners and show their support for the resumption of the GPH-NDFP peace talks even while political prisoners are staging a fasting too in this regard.
Reference: Atty. Julius Garcia Matibag
NUPL National Spokesperson