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Eastern Visayas Medical Center bags Gold Trailblazer in its Proficiency Revalida

Save the Children commemorates a decade of Yolanda

DepEd, Save the Children, and Prudence Foundation cite success of School Safety Project

PH delegation mainstreams durian in CIIE 2023

E. Samar farmers finish farm business school

PSA turns over 2022 CBMS data to the LGU of Pintuyan, Southern Leyte

Farmer group in Samar town gets nearly half a million assistance from DAR

Newly-inaugurated road project to boost peace and development in Northern Samar




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DAR N. Samar capacitates personnel to expedite SPLIT project

DAR Northern Samar SPLIT orientation
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II), Jose Balberde, is confident the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Northern Samar Provincial Office will hit its target in the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titiling (SPLIT) project this year.

December 8, 2023

CATARMAN, Northern Samar – To expedite the distribution of individual titles to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in this province, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) conducted an orientation to capacitate personnel working for the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project.

Last week, newly hired field engineers, legal officers and legal assistants underwent a one-day orientation on the mandates of the project to foster an open discussion of the adopted strategies from the field validation teams (FVTs), and to mitigate the challenges encountered during the conduct of documentation and validation.

During the said orientation, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II), Jose Balberde, urged the field engineers to collaborate closely with the provincial engineers and the Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officers (MARPOs), particularly during field operations.

“We need to maximize our strategies so we could accomplish our targets before the year ends,” said Balberde.

With additional personnel working for the World Bank-funded SPLIT project, Balberde is confident this province will be able to meet its targets for the current year.

On the same occasion, geodetic engineer, Jastin Romero, who is assigned at the Land Tenure Service Division, gave specific instructions to the newly hired engineers regarding their functions, specifically in accomplishing the validation documents.

As of October this year, Jessa Mae Moscare, SPLIT project’s Management Information System (MIS) staff, reported that Northern Samar had already accomplished 2,673.3196 hectares in the registration of electronically-generated titles, or 93 percent of its target for this year.

SPLIT project subdivides awarded lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) covered by collective Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to protect security of tenure and strengthen property rights of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).





AI Smart Electromagnetic Generator (AISEG), a breakthrough innovation for zero-fuel, zero-emission power generation, unveiled at COP28

AI Smart Electromagnetic Generator (AISEG)

Press Release
December 6, 2023

Dubai, UAE – Imagine a world powered by zero fuel with the electricity source being totally emission-free, highly efficient, and scalable.

This ambitious quest for clean power generation to address the challenge of climate change and accelerate the world’s journey to Net Zero is now a reality with a breakthrough innovation of profound significance for mankind.

South Korea-based SEMP Group and Abu Dhabi-based Global Solutions for Project Management have launched this pathbreaking innovation that will shape the future of clean energy – the AI Smart Electromagnetic Generator (AISEG) at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Expo City Dubai, UAE.

A beacon of hope, a testament to human ingenuity, and a symbol of purpose-driven innovation, AISEG is the result of nearly four years of research by experts at the SEMP Research Institute, which is now entering commercial application following its official launch at COP28.

Visitors to COP28’s Green Zone at the Energy Transition Hub, a part of the Sustainability District can witness first-hand live demonstrations of the innovative technology that meets the aspirations of the world to cut emissions and transition to Net Zero by 2050, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Announcing the launch of the technology for commercial application globally, Zakeya Alameri, Founder and CEO of Global Solutions for Project Management, said: “The world is convening in the UAE to find effective solutions for mitigating the impact of climate change, with the COP28 Presidency focusing on all pathways to curb the 22 Gigatons of emissions to drive a fair, just, responsible, and well-managed energy transition.

“The AISEG technology serves as a solution to meet the fast-growing demand for power without fuel or emissions. It marks a milestone of profound significance for the world and the future of clean energy – marking a journey of innovation, collaboration, and an unwavering commitment to a sustainable tomorrow.”

She added: “Through this innovative technology, we are underlining our commitment to promoting and pushing the horizons of innovation and scientific R&D to provide the best technological solutions. This is part of our strategic goal to supporting the aspirations and ambitions of the UAE to being an innovation center and a leading global destination in the development of advanced Clean Energy solutions.”

Woohee Choi, CEO of SEMP Research Institute Co., Ltd., said: “We are honoured to showcase our invention, the world's first non-rotation type power generation system that will transform how power is produced and consumed, at COP28, where the world is seeking solutions to accelerate the journey to Net Zero emissions. AISEG demonstrates our dedication to innovative decarbonization, delivering efficient energy while minimizing carbon emissions. By showcasing the technology at COP28, we are further underlining the strong bilateral and technology partnerships between the UAE and South Korea.”

The technology breakthrough

A revolutionary power generation technology, AISEG is an innovation like never before, one that has the potential to transform how electricity is consumed. AISEG works on fundamental electromagnetic principles and the Inverse Square Law. Leveraging the principle of circular winding to create stable magnetic fields, the application of AI logic signals helps generate constant output frequency.

At the heart of AISEG is the Theory of Bandwagoning and the practical application of Biot-Savart’s Law and Faraday’s Law. A Super Magnet serves as a foundational component of the AISEG technology. Beyond its primary role, this technology holds potential for diversification into various other applications. AISEG can be deployed at scale, is mobile and adaptable, making it eminently applicable in any situation – using an easy plug-and-play model. It will open doors to a realm of possibilities, forging ahead of energy generation norms and propelling us toward a carbon-zero future.

Zero-fuel, zero-emissions, highest efficiency

Today, AISEG is the world’s first successful system that generates higher efficiency output compared to input power. With over 70 patents in 60 countries, AISEG does not have any rotating parts, does not produce carbon or heat emissions, is self-powered and delivers outstanding efficiency. It has a compact footprint and near-permanent lifespan - a one-stop solution for the world's energy needs.

AISEG opens a market of infinite value with application in every field, such as automobiles by providing clean, emission-free power without fuel. Industries can generate electricity without need for power transmission and home appliances can be powered with an easy plug and play model. AISEG also replaces the immense volume of fuel needed for ships, planes, and carriers, and replaces every other power source at customised power plants.

Aligning with the priorities of COP28

Aligned with COP28 UAE's core pillars, AISEG is central to climate mitigation efforts, offering a green energy solution that curtails GHG emissions. It supports global adaptation by facilitating a transition to renewables, especially in challenging regions.

While primarily focused on mitigation and adaptation, AISEG also indirectly addresses loss and damage by aiming to reduce environmental harm and societal impacts from non-renewable sources.

In addition to live demos at COP28, visitors can also take part in discussions with experts. SEMP Group and Global Solutions for Project Management also plan to curate sessions to liaise with potential collaborators, decision-makers, and investors, brainstorming strategies for the mainstream adoption and assimilation of AISEG into existing and future energy structures.

Zakeya Alameri concluded: “At COP28, our strategy is to share our innovations, particularly in the realm of AISEG, while aligning with the guiding criteria pathways – Race to Zero, SBTi, and the UAE’s “Sustainable Companies Climate Pledge. We believe that this is only the beginning. It is a call to action, urging governments, industries, and individuals to unite, invest, and collaborate in our quest for a cleaner, sustainable world. AISEG invites the world to dream boldly, innovate fearlessly, and forge a legacy that echoes through time.”

Peace Walk in Cotabato City:

Multi-Stakeholders unite for Mindanao Week of Peace

Mindanao Week of Peace

By HWPL Philippines
December 5, 2023

COTABATO CITY – As part of the Mindanao Week of Peace, a diverse group of multi-stakeholders came together through a vibrant Peace Walk held on December 2, 2023.

The event witnessed the participation of around 300 individuals from 23 organizations from different sectors including teachers, students, community leaders, religious leaders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), youth, women and the security sector.

The lively parade of colors commenced at the Cotabato State University Campus Park, culminating at the in PC Hill, Cotabato City. This significant gathering aimed to emphasize the collective commitment to fostering peace and cooperation among the diverse communities in Mindanao.

The Mindanao Week of Peace is annually celebrated from the last Thursday in November to the first Wednesday of December through Proclamation Order No. 127, issued by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The event serves as a reminder of the power of collective efforts aiming to “recognize the common aspirations of Mindanaoans to live in peace, unity, and harmony with each other regardless of status in life, religion or culture”.

Following the Peace Walk, a program unfolded at the 6CMO. LTC Dennis C Almorato, Battalion Commander of 6CMO, gave welcoming remarks, “Ang ating Peace Walk ngayon ay hindi lamang isang simpleng paglalakad; ito'y isang malakas na pahayag na ang kapayapaan ay hindi lamang isang pangarap kundi isang layunin na ating makakamit nang magkakasama. Ang bawat hakbang natin ay simbolo ng ating lakas, katatagan at pangakong magtulungan para sa isang mapayapang kinabukasan (Our Peace Walk today is not just a simple walk; it is a strong statement that peace is not only a dream but a goal that we can achieve together. Every step we take is a symbol of our strength, resilience and commitment to working together for a peaceful future.)”

Guests of honor representing different sectors also gave solidarity messages, including Archbishop Emeritus Antonio Ledesma from the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro; Sheikh Abdulrahim Sangkua of the World Association for Alazhar Graduates; Mr. Philip Cuevas of Cotabato State University - Indigenous Peoples Center; PLT Jay-ar Rimorin, Assistant Company Commander of 44th Special Action Company, 4th Special Action Battalion, PNP Special Action Force; and Mr. Nash Mantao, Youth Development Officer of US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Students of Cotabato Rasheeda High School and Cotabato City Central Pilot School Drum and Lyre Corps also showcased captivating performances. The atmosphere resonated with positivity as doves were released after the community singing, symbolizing the shared aspiration for lasting peace. The celebration concluded with a poignant Symbolic Gesture of Peace, as participants affix post-it notes on the Freedom Peace Wall, echoing their commitment to building lasting harmony.

Ms. Nicole Lopez, National Coordinator of HWPL Philippines, conveyed the message of Chairman Lee Man-hee of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light, reminding everyone to strengthen the call for cessation of end of wars, particularly the recent Israel-Hamas conflict.

Hosted by the HWPL in partnership with Kutawato Greenland Initiatives, the Mindanao Week of Peace festivities continued with a series of impactful events, in conjunction with the observance of the UN International Volunteer Day (December 5). On December 3, a clean-up drive was organized in Manila Bay, underscoring the importance of environmental responsibility and sustainability. Additionally, from December 4-5, a Toy Donation Drive for Badjao Community and a dedicated clean-up initiative were also held in Cotabato City, reinforcing the spirit of giving and community welfare.





NMP explores collaborative opportunities with LGU of Ormoc City

NMP Executive Director Victor A. Del Rosario with Ormoc City mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez

By National Maritime Polytechnic
December 1, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – In a significant development, National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) Executive Director, Victor A. Del Rosario, recently held a productive meeting with Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez. The City Mayor, who also serves as the chair of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Eastern Visayas, expressed her commitment to support NMP's initiatives.

During the meeting, Mayor Torres-Gomez conveyed her willingness to allocate a space or lot in Ormoc to enhance the accessibility of NMP's programs and services, particularly benefiting the constituents of Ormoc City.

Furthermore, discussions revolved around potential partnerships between NMP and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Ormoc. Both parties explored the prospect of jointly conducting Basic Safety Training for Motorboat Handlers/Operators and Fisherfolks, with a specific focus on Typhoon Preparedness.

This collaborative effort reflects a shared commitment to advancing maritime safety and skills development in the region. NMP and Ormoc City look forward to fostering a mutually beneficial partnership that will contribute to the overall growth and preparedness of the local maritime community.

ICHRP applauds joint statement towards re-start of peace talks between Manila government and National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Press Release
December 1, 2023

MANILA – Seemingly against all odds, the new Marcos Jr. administration sent out feelers for peace talks to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) within a few months of inauguration, and the result is the announcement this week that a significant four-paragraph communique was signed at the Oslo City Hall on November 23, 2023, to re-start the on-again, off-again talks which began over 30 years ago.

GRP-NDFP peace talks“The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) unreservedly applauds the Oslo Communique which will enable a renewed effort to reach a just and lasting peace by addressing the root causes of the social conflict in the Philippines,” said Peter Murphy, the ICHRP Chairperson.

By choosing November 23 for the signing, the Marcos Jr. administration sent a firm rebuff to the predecessor Duterte administration which terminated the peace talks by Proclamation 360 on November 23, 2017.

The NDFP has always expressed willingness to proceed with peace talks to address the roots of the armed conflict , but was extremely disappointed when Duterte closed the door. The negotiating panels were ready to sign a substantive portion of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and even after that, in 2018, were poised to sign a major ceasefire agreement. Duterte’s decision began the bloody “whole-of-nation” effort to crush the armed rebellion and the civilian national democratic movement.

The Oslo Joint Statement is the outcome of a series of informal discussions held in the Netherlands and Norway starting in 2022, initiated by former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista (Ret.) and facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG). The initiative was personally welcomed by then NDFP Chief Political Consultant Prof. Jose Ma. Sison.

“The joint statement is the result of the Filipino people’s struggle for a genuine just and lasting peace that remains strong and undeterred despite political setbacks and ongoing counterinsurgency that cannot crush the people’s united will to fight for change,” said Murphy.

“The Philippine security forces captured, tortured and murdered the senior leadership team of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in August 2022, and then the CPP founding chairperson Jose Maria Sison died on December 16, 2022, but the armed struggle and the broader national democratic movement did not collapse. Rather it appears stronger than ever,” said Murphy.

“But for the talks to resume in good faith, the Marcos Jr. administration needs to meet a bare minimum of requirements, starting with honoring past agreements from the peace negotiations such as the Comprehensive Agreement for Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), and a repeal of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of the GRP that designates the NDFP as a terrorist organization.”

At a media conference on November 28, the NDFP leaders said that they would propose the release of imprisoned NDFP Peace Consultants as they are needed in the talks, assurance of security and immunity guarantees for all involved in the negotiations, the release of all political prisoners – now 791, and the removal of the terrorist designation of the CPP, NPA and NDFP by the Anti-Terrorism Council.

They explained that the talks will start in 2024, no date has been set, and everything is on the table. A very high priority for the NDFP is that all previous agreements in the peace talks are reaffirmed.

Here is the full text of the Joint Statement:

“Cognizant of the serious socioeconomic and environmental issues, and the foreign security threats facing the country, the parties recognize the need to unite as a nation in order to urgently address these challenges and resolve the reasons for the armed conflict.

The parties agree to a principled and peaceful resolution of the armed conflict. Resolving the roots of the armed conflict and ending the armed struggle shall pave the way for the transformation of the CPP-NPA-NDFP.

The parties acknowledge the deep-rooted socio-economic and political grievances and agree to come up with a framework that sets the priorities for the peace negotiation with the aim of achieving the relevant socioeconomic and political reforms towards a just and lasting peace. Such framework, that will set the parameters for the final peace agreement, shall be agreed upon by both parties.

Consequently, we envision and look forward to a country where a united people can live in peace and prosperity.”

It was signed by the GRP represented by the Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Ernesto F. Lagdameo Jr.; Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr.; and Gen Emmanuel T. Bautista (Ret.) and by the NDFP represented by National Executive Council Member Luis G. Jalandoni; Negotiating Panel Interim Chairperson Julieta de Lima; and Panel Member Coni K. Ledesma. The signing was witnessed by the RNG Special Envoy Kristina Lie Revheim. The RNG Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide also attended the signing ceremony.





P67-million slope protection built along Brgy. Rosalim

Brgy. Rosalim slope protection structure

November 29, 2023

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First DEO has completed the construction of the road slope protection structure along Daang Maharlika in Brgy. Rosalim, San Jorge, Samar with a contract amount of P67 million funded under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) FY 2023.

The structure spans 231 linear meters and a height which varies from nine (9) to 18 meters. The scope of work includes a Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) shouldering of the same length as the slope structure with a width of 1.5 meters. Also, 13 solar LED street lights are installed and a 1.50 meter-wide paver blocks sidewalk.

Slope protection is built to prevent soil erosion or rockfall that poses risks to infrastructure, human life, and the environment.





Flood control structure built to protect residents of Brgy. Basud

Brgy. Basud flood control structure

November 29, 2023

CALBAYOG CITY – The flood control structure built along Jibatang River in Barangay Basud has already been completed according to the Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First DEO.

This additional structure in the area has a length of 341.9 linear meters with a height of 2.7 meters. The scope of work includes Reinforced Concrete Pipe Culvert (RCPC), 1.2 meter-wide walkway, 0.8-meter parapet, as well as the installation of 17 solar street LED lights.

The said project was allocated from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) FY 2023 with a contract amount of P51 million.

Flood control structures are built to protect coastal and riverbank areas, residences, and other economically valuable areas, as well as its community. This flood control structure is helpful to the 1,614 residents (2020 census) of the barangay especially during bad weather or heavy rains where water inundates the area.





2 So. Leyte farmer groups receive farm equipment from DAR

The Mabatas Irrigators Association based in Hinunangan, Southern Leyte receives farm machineries, tool and farm inputs from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

November 24, 2023

HINUNANGAN, Southern Leyte – Two agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) from this town are the latest recipients of modern farm machineries and equipment, tools and farm inputs, from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to augment their livelihood activities.

Last month, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Roderick Rances led the turnover of three boat-type floating tillers, three turtle-type floating tillers, a water pump with complete accessories, and organic fertilizers to the Mabatas Irrigators Association (Mabatas IA), held in Barangay Tahusan auditorium.

Mabatas IA, with 182 members, where 117 of them are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), is into rice farming.

On the same occasion, Rances also turned over two fish drying machines with accessories to the Tabjon Settlers Farmers Association (TSFA) for their “tilanggit” (danggit na tilapia) processing.

Aside from farming, TSFA, based in Sitio Tabjon, Barangay Calagitan, is also into aquaculture, particularly on tilapia production.

TSFA is composed of 50 members, wherein 39 of them are ARBs.

Rances explained that this is part of DAR’s commitment to provide our ARBOs with livelihood and agri-enterprise assistance geared towards increasing agricultural production and income in keeping with Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III’s advocacy on genuine land reform program.

Cecil Malubay, chief of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD) at the DAR Southern Leyte Provincial Office, disclosed that these packages of assistance amounted to ₱2.1 million taken from the Major Crop-based Block Farm Productivity Enhancement and Sustainable Livelihood for Disaster Affected Areas of the Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support (CRFPS) program.

Both chairpersons of the recipient-ARBOs, Rogelio Engcoy and Gina Amac of Mabatas IA and TSFA, respectively, expressed their gratitude and committed to maximize the use of their newly-acquired machines in order to increase their production and income.

Meanwhile, Mayor Reynaldo Fernandez, who graced the said occasion with Vice Mayor Marian Pelen, expressed his gratitude to the DAR for continuously supporting the farmers by providing them with various assistance.





19 AFP lawyers trained to apply the rules of war while providing legal advice

AFP lawyers trained to apply the rules of war
AFP Chief of International Law and Special Projects Col. Vener Malabanan III, Office of the Judge Advocate General (first row, fourth from left), head of ICRC legal team Kelisiana Thynne (first row, centre) and armed forces delegate of the ICRC Ricardo Lucero Jr. (far right) and other ICRC staff with the 19 newly appointed second lieutenants of the Judge Advocate General Service. (Photo: L. Arada, ICRC)

November 24, 2023

MANILA – Nineteen newly recruited officers of the Judge Advocate General Service (JAGS), the legal counsels of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), underwent a three-week training on international humanitarian law (IHL) or the law of armed conflict.

Brig. Gen. Erwin Victoriano Machica III, Judge Advocate General, requested the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to conduct the training, held from 6 to 24 November 2023, at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. Those trained form the first batch to be sent to operational units to provide legal advice on the conduct of hostilities. Previously, JAGS officers were responsible for discipline and administration in AFP.

The course touched on pressing topics such as general principles of IHL regarding the regulation of weapons, detention during armed conflicts, protection of health care and the natural environment, domestic law on IHL and the law of naval warfare among others.

“The training aimed to ensure that participants understand the ICRC’s humanitarian mandate and role in ensuring the rules of war are respected, that they know what IHL is, can give advice on the basic principles on the conduct of hostilities and that they understand related domestic laws,” said Kelisiana Thynne, head of the ICRC’s legal department in the Philippines.

Resource person Judge Samina Sampaco Macabando-Usman, an IHL trainer from the Department of Justice, briefed participants about Republic Act 9851 which penalizes crimes against IHL, genocide and other crimes against humanity. Sessions also included role plays where JAGS members drafted rules of engagement or standard operating procedures for certain scenarios.

Training on management of deceased in emergencies also held

Meanwhile, a separate training session on forensics was also organized for 21 AFP officers and staff on 15 and 16 November 2023 in Makati City. The training focused on general principles regarding the protection and management of the deceased in emergencies, especially during land and maritime conflicts, as well as the ICRC’s work in the Philippines and its role in humanitarian forensics.

The ICRC discussed internationally accepted standards for the documentation, recovery, transport, temporary burial or storage of the deceased, and coordination with the parties concerned. AFP officers and ICRC officials exchanged best practices and discussed common challenges in the protection and management of the deceased. The AFP and the ICRC also explored ways in which they can cooperate in the future, such as for capacity-building activities.

The workshop aims to pave the way for more strategic cooperation at the national level.

Prior to the event, the ICRC supported one AFP officer in 2022 to attend an international course on the protection and management of the deceased in Pakistan. Another AFP official will soon attend the same course in December 2023. Material support will also be given next week to the AFP, through the donation of 200 body bags.

The training sessions are in line with the memorandum of understanding signed between AFP and the ICRC in 2021 to enhance the two institutions’ cooperation in the effective implementation of IHL, and its integration into military teaching, systems and processes.





Karapatan on the Marcos Jr. admin’s amnesty program

Press Release
November 24, 2023

QUEZON CITY – Human rights alliance Karapatan takes exception to the Marcos Jr. government’s recently announced amnesty program for its failure to recognize and address the social, political and economic roots of the armed conflict in the Philippines. Instead, its focus is on surrender, totally ignoring why persons have resorted to taking up arms in the first place. It is a shallow and tangential approach that will guarantee not the end but the continuance of armed conflict.

Would-be amnesty grantees are enticed to surrender, and thereafter trapped in a web of self-incrimination. They are obliged or forced to admit to membership in the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the latter’s so-called front organizations of having committed a number of anti-government actions, which may include activities that do not involve the use of arms. This provision basically restores Republic Act 1700 or the Anti-Subversion Law, which penalizes mere membership in the CPP, NPA or NDFP, regardless of actual participation in rebellious acts. The amnesty program also effectively criminalizes political activism and conflates it with rebellion, and insidiously targets persons who would not otherwise be categorized as rebels because they have not taken up arms.

The Marcos Jr. amnesty program likewise excludes those who have been charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the defunct Human Security Act. Considering how these laws are being maliciously weaponized against activists and political dissenters, this is cause for alarm. Once this so-called amnesty program is underway, we may witness another wave of arbitrary terrorist designations and court cases filed against activists and dissenters.

The amnesty program likewise provides no protection against civil suits and offers limited guarantees as to how information disclosed by the amnesty applicant will be used.

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) will have a heyday red-tagging, profiling, harassing and threatening activists who refuse to join the amnesty charade, rendering them more vulnerable to more serious human rights violations.

None of these, of course, will impact the ongoing armed conflict in any significant way, and will prove to be an exercise in futility, like all previous amnesty programs of such nature.

Karapatan calls instead for a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty for all political prisoners and others slapped with trumped-up charges, including those wrongfully charged using the unconstitutional provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act and other related laws.

We demand that the Marcos Jr. government squarely addresses the root causes of the armed conflict. It must abolish the NTF-ELCAC and rescind Executive Order 70, which are nothing but instruments of repression and are totally inutile in resolving the deep-seated roots of armed conflict. It should ensure justice and accountability for all human rights and international humanitarian law violations, and the immediate release of all political prisoners. It should adhere to previously signed agreements in the government’s peace talks with the NDFP and implement thoroughgoing, comprehensive and substantial economic and political reforms. It should stop its doublespeak on human rights, social justice and just and lasting peace.



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