May 12

Since we’re talking about a people’s agenda, here are a few things I think should be included in the short-term part of the Agenda. This is a list of a few doable policies and actions the Noynoy Administration can, and should, undertake if it serious in its election promises of change.

On Corruption and Accountability

– The immediate formation of a body that will investigate and pursue the charges of corruption, electoral fraud, and human rights violations against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The composition of the body must include a cross-section of the various anti-Arroyo groups and respected “statesmen” (or women) so that they will serve as checks-and-balances towards each other and ensure a fair investigation.

On Human Rights

– The immediate formation of a body similar to the one mentioned above that is tasked to investigate and pursue the human rights violation charges against Jovito Palparan and other members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The body must include respected individuals who have no links to the suspects to prevent any conflicts of interest. The body must also include members of Commission on Human Rights as well as other human rights advocacy groups, both local and international.

– The immediate sacking of Justice Secretary Agra, and other officials in justice and human rights-related gov’t agencies, who have sabotaged the filing and pursuit of cases against human rights violators in the military and government. Charges must also be filed and pursued against them.

– The immediate granting of clemency to the hundreds of political prisoners still detained in various jails nationwide.

On Social Justice

– To strictly follow the Constitutionally-dictated principle that farmers must own the land they till. Hence, at the minimum, the formation of a committee that will review the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program extension. The committee must include representatives from genuine peasant and farmworker organizations (meaning those with actual nationwide membership) so that the viewpoint of those primarily involved in this issue will be heard.

– To push the Senate and House into legislating a genuine agrarian reform law, such as the House Bill 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill.

– To use executive powers into quickly resolving the Hacienda Luisita issue by redistributing the land for free to the sugar mill and farm workers.

On the Peace Process

– The immediate resumption of peace negotiations between the Gov’t and the NDF (National Democratic Front), and the Gov’t and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front).

– The undertaking of confidence-building measures, such as the honoring of the CAHRIHL (Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights & Int’l Humanitarian Law) between the Gov’t and the NDF, the honoring of the JASIGs (Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees) for NDF peace panelists and consultants, and the freeing of NDF peace consultants who were arrested under Gloria’s all-out war policy.

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