KMU on AFP’s assessment of war vs. Reds: We told you so

May. 23, 2010

Noynoy challenged to resume peace talks

“We told you so.”

This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Delfin Bangit’s admission that the June 2010 deadline for crushing the country’s armed insurgency won’t be met. The group urged the incoming Aquino administration to immediately resume and pursue peace talks instead.

“We have repeatedly said that ending the insurgency by June 2010 is a pipe dream. We all have to recognize a simple fact – that as long as there is widespread and extreme poverty, there will always be fertile grounds for armed groups rising up against the government,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“After years of pursuing a militaristic bang-bang-bang policy towards the New People’s Army and its supporters, the Arroyo regime now wants to appear to have found its conscience by citing the root causes of the insurgency.”

“This is hypocrisy. The AFP, PNP (Philippine National Police) and paramilitary groups under Arroyo have actually massacred those who persistently voiced out the roots of the insurgency. They have waged a bloody war against trade unionists and other groups who have been vocal about widespread poverty and injustice. ,” added Labog.

Since 2001, more than 1,000 progressive workers, farmers, students, church people, lawyers and migrant workers have been killed, while hundreds more have been abducted.

Challenge to Noynoy: resume peace talks

KMU also challenged president-apparent Noynoy Aquino to fulfill his campaign promise of resuming the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

“That is really the peaceful way of trying to address the root causes of the armed rebellion in the country and to end the insurgency,” Labog said.

“Seriously pursuing the peace talks is one way he can show that he’s different from his predecessor Arroyo, who repeatedly scuttled the talks. It’s also one way he can find pro-people substance for the ‘change’ that he has been promising. So far, the ‘change’ that we’ve been hearing from his side is pro-business,” added Labog.

For reference:

Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Mobile number – 0908-163-6597 / 0919-416-3451

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