EDITORIAL| Sustaining peace initiatives

THE COMPREHENSIVE Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) was the first substantive agenda signed by the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front in 1998, the first step that moved forward the peace process.

The peace negotiations between the GRP and NDF have been rough sailing, with many bitter words exchanged and bursts of optimism every time a new administration comes into power. The present administration is no different. As of this time, the peace negotiation is at a standstill even as back channeling is being done on the side.

On January 21, 2017, 19 years after the signing of the CARHRIHL, the supplemental guidelines for its full operation was signed in Rome, Italy.

Yesterday, the government’s monitoring committee launched its Mindanao Pilot Monitoring Station.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello who is also chair of the GRP negotiating panel, in a statement sent to media yesterday said the “launching of the GRP Monitoring Committee’s Mindanao Station is yet another important milestone in the government’s earnest efforts to actualize this manifestation. By doing so, we have brought the GRP-MC’s ear closer to the ground, so to speak, in what is undeniably a conflict hotspot in our country, thereby enabling it to be readily accessible and responsive to the people sought to be served by the enforcement of CARHRIHL.

He said it is a “clear evidence of the government’s commitment to abide by its duties and responsibilities in the pursuit of lasting peace in our country and a display of this administration’s willingness to go the extra mile despite the serious difficulties that we have been facing along the way.”

With the negotiations still up in air, maybe having the CARHRIHL Monitoring Station will build an environment that will enable the parties to return to the peace table.

Posted in Opinion