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Camarines clash prompts call for ceasefire

MANILA (Updated 4:08 p.m.) -- A lawmaker renewed a call for ceasefire between the military and communist rebels after reports that two children were killed in a clash in Camarines Norte over the weekend.
"How many more have to lose their lives before we realize that nothing good comes from this conflict? Let's end this now for the sake of our children," Senator Francis Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate committee on social justice, said in Filipino Monday.
Peace talks between the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and the government have been on hold over a dispute on an agreement giving CPP-NPA-NDF consultants immunity from arrest. The NDF said the government has arrested members covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) anyway.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process said the government "cannot blindly extend Jasig coverage to just anyone that the NDF alleges is covered, especially since the NDF has consistently claimed highly placed captured party members to be covered by aliases in its Jasig list, without offering any proof."
According to reports, two children of suspected members of the NPA were killed alongside their father in Labo, Camarines Norte this weekend. Another daughter was reportedly hit in the leg during the firefight.
The NPA opened fire at soldiers sent to Labo to check reports that there were rebels there.
"Four decades of fighting is too long. Let us not allow our children to be further victimized by the atrocities of war. We refuse to accept war and escalating violence as a fact of life. It should not be," Pangilinan said.
Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex
Monday, February 27, 2012


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