The Kabataan Partylist expressed high hopes on Wednesday as the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) begin preliminary talks in
and lauded the incoming
Duterte administration for its sincerity in pursuing peace. Oslo, Norway
Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said they are optimistic for the outcome of the
meeting between officials of the incoming administration and the NDF. Oslo
“We laud the incoming administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte for showing sincerity in its bid to pursue peace. This goodwill gesture marks the beginning of what we hope will be a conclusive and exhaustive negotiation that will finally usher in peace and healing in our country,” she said.
The incoming lawmaker said they are also hoping that the ongoing peace negotiation will pave the way for the release of all political detainees, including 136 youth political prisoners, languishing in various jails across the country.
Earlier, the NDF stated that three agreements are set to be discussed in the preliminary talks: the reiteration of previous agreements signed by the Philippine government and the NDF; the release of political prisoners; and the possibility of a mutual ceasefire in the duration of the formal peace negotiations.
However, Elago said that in order to ensure the success of the negotiations, the Filipino people must stand guard against forces that want the peace talks to fail.
“Peace can only be attained if the root causes of the raging armed struggle in the country are addressed. To achieve such, it is necessary for both sides of the negotiating table to agree on fundamental socioeconomic and political changes which aim to not only cease hostilities but also uplift the lives and welfare of every Filipino,” she said.