Amid the Haiyan-Yolanda Disaster, PeaceBuilders Community is echoing the appeal of the Mindanao PeaceWeavers to both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) for an extended humanitarian ceasefire.
AN URGENT APPEAL: EXTEND CEASEFIRE, DECLARE HUMANITARIAN PEACE ZONES!
We, the Conveners of the Mindanao PeaceWeavers (MPW), in collaboration with other peace and humanitarian groups in the Philippines, are urgently appealing to both the Philippine Government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to declare a 60-day extended ceasefire in the Yolanda-affected areas in central Philippines.
We were in high spirits when both entities made separate public pronouncements on the need for cessation of armed hostilities in the devastated areas. Albeit coming from different views, the CPP officialized a 10-day unilateral ceasefire and the government counter proposed a more indefinite one, both resonated the same compassionate end – to provide relief to the survivors by addressing security issues that might compound the delivery of the much-needed rescue, relief and recovery support for civilians and communities.
Furthermore, we highly appreciate the declaration of Proclamation No. 682, “Declaring a State of National Calamity” to affected populations but we see the need for a complementary policy action to address security issues between armed actors still operating in the Visayas Islands.
In this light, MPW, together with other peace and humanitarian groups in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, is respectfully submitting this ardent appeal to make public the following imperatives :
a. Immediate declaration of RECIPROCAL 60-DAY CEASEFIRE (Philippine Government and CPP) in the Typhoon affected areas;
b. Publicly declare these areas as “HUMANITARIAN PEACE ZONES” to institutionalize the cessation of armed hostilities and pave the way for continuous and unhampered rescue, relief, rehabilitation, recovery operations;
c. A “humanitarian peace zone” obligates the national and local governments, line agencies, armed actors (military, police and NPA), business sector and communities into a tacit agreement that aside from a ceasefire taking effect, other forms of violence should also be prevented and mitigated and affirmative actions especially for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are implemented in the entire duration of the relief and rehabilitation stages.
d. Coverage of these bilateral declarations will be the hardest-hit communities by Typhoon Yolanda in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Panay, Cebu, Palawan, Bohol including Negros Occidental.
This fervent appeal is a reiteration of our previous call, since today, November 24, marks the end of CPP’s unilateral ceasefire which officially expires at midnight. We are pinning our hopes that both the state and the non-state armed actors heed our urgent plea and extend the olive branch once more.
Tindog, Bangon, Rise up, Visayas!
MINDANAO PEACEWEAVERS (MPW)
Bisayang Dako Alang sa Kalinaw (BISDAK in Leyte, Bohol, Dumaguete, Bacolod)
Samar Development Agenda Consortium
Katungod Han Samarena Foundation
Agong Peace Network, Inc (AGONG)
Center for Peace Education (CPE)
Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)
GZO Peace Institute –(GZOPI)
Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)
Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs Network (MINCODE)
Mindanao Peace Advocates Conference (MPAC)
Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC)
Mindanao Peoples Peace Movement (MPPM)
Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN)
Pax Christi Pilipinas
Peacebuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI)
Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC)
Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc (PMPI)
Sustainable Cooperation for Equitable Enterprise Development, Inc (SUCCEED)
Waging Peace Philippines
Women Engaged in Action 1325 (WEAct 1325)