Wednesday, April 8, 2015

House panel urged to study possible revival of peace talks with NDFP

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 8): House panel urged to study possible revival of peace talks with NDFP

The House Special Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity was asked to study the possible revival of the peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines’ political arm, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

In House Resolution 1927, Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), who chairs the Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsa Moro Basic Law, said there have been reports that the on-and-off peace talks between the government and the NDFP may start again.

Although Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said both parties were amenable to returning to the negotiating table to end more than four decades of communist insurgency, there are no formal meetings yet for a possible resumption of the peace talks, according to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said the government and the NDFP have been holding peace talks for the past 27 years to end the Maoist-inspired war waged by the New People’s Army (NPA), CPP’s armed wing, against the government, which has reportedly claimed more than 40,000 lives.

“The NDFP has been holding peace talks with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to address the roots of the armed conflict which resulted in Ten Agreements being signed between the two parties including the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL),” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the peace negotiations have been stalled since 2004 with both parties adamant in pushing for their respective preconditions before the start of the peace talks. The last breakdown of the talks occurred in February 2013, Rodriguez said.

Rep. Maximo B. Rodriguez Jr. (Party-list, ABAMIN), another author of the resolution, said there is a need to inquire on the matter to ensure that the CPP is sincere in its quest for peace.

He urged the committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Hataman-Salliman (Lone District, Basilan), to invite the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the NDFP, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other agencies and entities that may shed light and resolve the issue.

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