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HISTORY HISTORY On March 16, 1998, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines signed with the National

Democratic Front of the Philippines the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law or CARHRIHL. The first agreement of its kind, the CARHRIHL is a mutual commitment by the GRP and the NDFP to observe basic Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in conducting their respective operations in the course of the four-decades-old armed conflict. Specifically, in signing the CARHRIHL, both parties agreed that the armed elements of both sides are bound by the same standards of human rights and IHL observance. The CARHRIHL came into effect on 7 August, 1998. The Joint Monitoring Committee was formally convened on April 15, 2004 at the Catholic Bishops Conference (CBCP) compound in Intramuros, Manila, attended by Prof. Carlos Madina as chair of the GRP-MC and Fidel Agcaoili as chair of the NDFP-MC. The Joint Secretariat Office for the CARHRIHL was formally launched on 04 June 2004 at the 6th Floor of the Immaculate Conception Multi-Purpose Building on #41 Lantana St., Cubao, Quezon City. The GRP and NDF Monitoring Committee shold separate offices on oppositve sides of a corridor. The CARHRIHL is the first of four substantive agreements between the parties towards a final peace agreement. The other three agreements, which have still to be negotiated, are: an agreement on socio-economic reforms, an agreement on political and constitutional reforms, and an agreement of the end of hostilities and disposition of forces. CARHRIHL represents a unique and unprecedented step towards what is hoped to be a comprehensive and peaceful solution to the armed conflict. First Oslo Joint Statement The First Oslo Joint Statement signed on February 14, 2004 paved the way for the creation of the Joint Monitoring Committee. The GPH Monitoring Committee for the Compliance of CARHRIHL was formally mandated on 24 January 2005 by virtue of Executive Order No. 404, series of 2005 which defined its powers and functions and allocated a budget for its initial operations. The GPH-MC receives reports on allegations of CARHRIHL violations submitted by groups and individuals who document the incidents in written complaints. The MC then verifies the claims made in the reports and shares these with the NDFP-MC. To fulfill its mandate more efficiently , the GPH-MC engages government agencies and civil society to help in verifying the reports it receives. The GPH MC refers complaints that have adequate factual or legal support to the appropriate government agencies for further action, such as rendering the offending parties liable for their acts. As part of its duties, the GPH -MC strives to spread awareness of CARHRIHL among various sectors of society, including the governments security forces and the communities who too often find themselves caught in the crossfire between the GPH and NDFP forces, and who are often the hapless victims of human rights violations by either side. Convening the Joint Secretariat The Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) held its first formal meeting on 15 April 2004 at the CBCP Compound in Intramuros, Manila.