MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government denied rumors that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) was lobbying for President Benigno Aquino III’s nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize, Sunday.
“I definitely confirm that I am NOT lobbying for (President Aquino’s) nomination for Nobel peace prize. I wouldn’t even know how to do it,” Secretary Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on OPAPP told Inquirer in a text message.
However, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a text message, though, that there could be some groups that want to nominate the peace deal recently signed by the Aquino administration and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“During the Oslo Conference, (Opapp) Secretary (Teresita) Deles had occasion to meet Nobel Peace Prize winners, but there are no lobbying efforts,” he said.
“But please note that since Aceh, there has been no significant peace accord reached. Hence, it is possible that there are groups who do wish to nominate the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) . But certainly, OPAPP is not lobbying for it,” Lacierda added.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) claimed they received credible information that Deles, during her visit to Norway, lobbied for the prestigious award.
“She and (Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chair Al Haj) Murad (Ebrahim) were reportedly in Norway recently to attend a peace conference after which they both went to Hiroshima to talk to [Aquino]. This info we got (from Norway-based parliamentarians and groups),” Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes said Inquirer.
InterAksyon reported that in a statement sent to media outfits, Bayan opposed the lobbied nomination over human rights violations that continue under his watch.
“Aquino is highly unqualified for such an award. The Nobel Peace Prize hits a new low with the nomination of Aquino, who uses the US-instigated counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan as a weapon of deception and repression,” Bayan said.
It enumerated the human rights violations under Aquino’s four-year-old regime to include the militarization of peasant communities, 192 cases of extrajudicial killing, 21 cases of enforced disappearances and numerous illegal arrests, along with 400 political prisoners.
Moreover, Bayan said “Aquino fosters regional instability and tension with his support for the US military pivot and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that allows the return of US bases and weapons of mass destruction in the country, and through his unqualified support for the rise of Japanese militarism and revision of Japan’s Peace Constitution.”
“Aquino has failed to address the socio-economic and political roots of the armed conflict,” Bayan said.
-JEFFREY D. CONSULTADO
LNU, ABCOM INTERN