Duterte’s pardon of political prisoners a ‘positive gesture,’ says solon

Friday, July 14th, 2017. Filed under: Asian News Local News News Philippine News
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shows a photo of a .45 caliber pistol which he intends to provide to law enforcers during his visit to the headquarters of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade in Malungon, Sarangani Province on July 5, 2017. (MNS photo)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shows a photo of a .45 caliber pistol which he intends to provide to law enforcers during his visit to the headquarters of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade in Malungon, Sarangani Province on July 5, 2017. (MNS photo)

MANILA, July 7 (Mabuhay) — A left-leaning lawmaker on Friday welcomed the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to pardon 10 political prisoners, describing it as a “very positive gesture” ahead of the fifth round of peace talks eyed in August.

“This bodes well for the continuation of the peace negotiations,” Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate added in his statement.

“We reiterate our call for the release of all political prisoners as a matter of justice and for resolution of the root causes of the five-decade old rebellion in our country,” he added.

The political prisoners released Thursday night were: Emeterio Antalan, Ricardo Solangon, Joel Ramada, Apolonio Barado, Jose Navarro, Generoso Rolida, Arnulfo Boates, Manolito Matricio, Josue Ungsod, and Sonny Marbella.

“We also hope that the 5th round of talks on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) could now push through, completed and be signed by both parties,” Zarate said.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello II, who is the government peace panel chief negotiator, earlier confirmed that the stalled fifth round of peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) will resume next month.

Members of the government peace panel temporarily withdrew from the negotiating table in May due to a directive from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) for its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), to intensify its offensive operations amid the martial law declaration in Mindanao.

Zarate said Duterte should “give primacy to the success of the peace process.”

The Bayan Muna lawmaker also chided National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Eduardo Año for supposedly “sabotaging the peace negotiations.”

“These militarists should instead be fired for bungling the situation in Marawi and for pushing for the declaration of Martial law in Mindanao,” said Zarate.(MNS)

Share Button