Peace talks shed light on the Philippine war on drugs

LOS ANGELES — Activists continue to tour the US, to give updates on the ongoing Philippine peace talks. During their trip, President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs is grabbing the headlines, but they believe that the drug war is only part of a bigger problem.

The Philippines stories of struggle continue, as the peace talk tour goes through the city raising awareness on the ongoing peace talks between the Philippine government and rebel groups, and the alleged human rights violations committed under the Duterte administration.

“This actually connects us to the stories on the ground,” said Andrew Esposo from Calpac Task Force Philippines. “We’re encouraging people to go to the Philippines, as well in solidarity missions… and see for themselves the work that is being done.

As these activists are making their rounds across the US, President Duterte’s war on drugs has been getting lots of international attention.

Earlier this week, a case against him was filed before International Criminal Court, or ICC, and a New York Times op-ed against him also came out — which immediately received negative reviews from Malacanang.

While activists have yet to study the ICC lawsuit they believe the ultimate solution to the war on drugs in the Philippines should be through the economic reforms that the peace talks are trying to achieve.

The peace talks are expected to resume in a few weeks.

“For us, it’s also important that we’re looking beyond the drug war and the pressing issues and the larger human rights situation and struggle to really address the root causes at going back to the basic needs of the Filipino people,” said Joy Prim from the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines. “For them, to address the needs of landlessness and joblessness… through the peace negotiations that addresses the needs of all Filipinos.”

“We think the drug problem and the violent approach to it, no matter how horrible it may be, it does not define what the problems in Philippine society are… which are the agenda in the peace negotiations in the Philippine government, and my the clients the negotiating panel in the NDFP,” said Endre Olalia, a NDFP peace talks legal consultant. “I think the drug problem is only a manifestation of deeper social and economic reasons, and conditions that need to be addressed.”

The peace tour will hold several events in Los Angeles this weekend, before they go to the north west.

Among their plans, to file a petition before the US House Foreign Affairs committee members — to urge them to withhold funding for the Philippine military — which they say fuels human right violations.

 

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  • Santiago Del Mundo
    29 April 2017 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Activist??? Does not matter where they come from, the Philippines, U.S., E.U., U.N., etc. they’re all agenda driven…Looking at the big picture??? That is the biggest bullshit I’ve ever heard! Now that Duterte is the president, all these activist are coming out. There were no activist coming during the Aquino’s, Arroyos, Estradas, Ramos’s regimes…Activist will only make matters worst, they’re just loud mouthing everything….The bottom line (not Abunda), is that NO ACTIVIST WILL HELP THE PHILIPPINES GOVERNMENT ANYWAY!

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