Crossroads, Detours and Roadblocks to Peace Under Duterte
By Beth Dollaga (Migrante-BC)
September 15, 2016
Paul Quintos, the Research Coordinator for the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) spoke at the SFU Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver last August 22 on the “Prospects for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines: Crossroads, Detours and Roadblocks.”
Mr. Quintos worked as a Program Manager at IBON International, a Southern-led international non-governmental organization that promotes development justice through capacity development of people’s movements. He has also worked as an organizer and educator in the Philippine progressive labour movement for over a decade. He obtained his MSc. in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science and has worked in the academe, in government and in various non-governmental organizations.
Beth Dollaga of the Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights in the Philippines opened the evening forum and Aiyanas Ormond of ILPS-Canada and Red Sparks facilitated the discussion. Paul Quintos talked about the impacts of the recent electoral victory of President Rodrigo Duterte, the possibilities for change, and the continuing significant role of the people’s mass movement. Duterte is the first Philippine President to describe himself as a “leftist” and one who has shown strong commitment to the resumption of the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
On the same date as the forum was also the first day of the resumption of the peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP in Oslo, Norway. The peace negotiations were made even more significant by the attendance of 22 NDFP consultants recently released by the government from political detention in the Philippines.
Beth Dollaga was hopeful because the peace talks started with good will measures from both sides and added, “The discussions around social and economic reforms in the peace negotiations are very important because they will need to address the root causes of the armed conflict and the national ills that include poverty, landlessness, unemployment and injustice. I am optimistic that change will come but the people, including Filipinos overseas, must continue to be vigilant and help push the change that is genuine and which will benefit the people.”
Quintos encouraged the overseas Filipinos to join the growing Kababayan4Change movement, a global platform of overseas Filipinos to unite around the Filipino people’s demands, collective concerns, and aspirations for genuine change and peace in the Philippines (https://www.facebook.com/Kababayan4Change/). For international friends and supporters, Quintos presented the JustPeacePH platform to help push the Philippine peace process (http://justpeace.ph) .
The timely discussion was organized by ILPS-Canada, Red Sparks, Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR), Migrante BC, and the Kababayan4Change in Vancouver.###
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