Philippine government, Communist rebels agree on human rights

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines government has reached its first major agreement with Communist rebels aimed at ending their 28-year insurgency, President Fidel Ramos said Wednesday.
The agreement with the rebel National Democratic Front covers a wide spectrum of human rights issues, Ramos said.
It is to be signed Sunday in the Netherlands, where rebel leaders live in exile and where peace talks have been held intermittently since 1992.
Ramos urged negotiators to “redouble their efforts to end this prolonged fratricidal conflict” and “bring about a lasting peace.”
The agreement is the first of four accords the two sides hope to reach for a political settlement. Negotiations now move on to social and economic reforms.
The accord on human rights was sealed when the two sides came to terms on compensating victims of abuses under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Ramos said.
He was referring to a judgment obtained in a Honolulu court by 9,539 Filipinos who were awarded $2 billion from the Marcos estate. Many of the plaintiffs were mistreated for belonging to the front or 14 Marxist groups under the front’s umbrella.