Peace talks with Reds to alter human rights situation – CHR

Lawyer Alberto Sipaco, CHR regional director said Friday that the suspension of the peace talks have worsened the human rights situation, with rights groups and militant organizations trading accusation with government over the widespread yet unsolved killings of activists, lawyers and journalists.

"There will be more chances of improving the situation if the two sides are talking," he told a news conference on the heels of an investigation that would be conducted by the United Nations' Special Rapporteur, Philip Alstron. "By listening to each other there is a greater chance for understanding."

He said that a ceasefire could deter human rights violations. Peace talks with communist rebels were suspended in 2004.

Ariel Casilao of the human rights group, Karapatan, said the rapporteur's visit was indication of an alarming human rights situation in Mindanao and the rest of the country.