From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 4): Gov't panel adviser says peace agreement with NDF will be accepted by Filipinos
City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said that the government's ongoing peace negotiation with the National Democratic Front (NDF) has the support of the Filipinos and the future peace agreement will be embraced by the nation.
Pamintuan, who is also a government peace panel adviser, made this reaction following the rejection in a plebiscite of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP).
"The Colombian and Philippine peace negotiations have parallelisms but also differences. In the ongoing negotiation with the NDF, we are focused on the resolutions of the basic issues, the root causes of the almost five-decade war in our countrysides. We are resolved to settle everything on the negotiating table. And while we are talking, we are also informing, educating our people through various forms of information-dissemination particularly the media, the social media and thru the conduct of grassroots fora," Pamintuan said.
Likewise, he said the country has peace advocates and progressive leaders in various levels of government and civil society groups which are all-out in support of the ongoing peace efforts.
"The support mechanisms for a just and lasting peace are already in place," Pamintuan added.
Seeking to end more than 50 years of war, the Colombian government and FARC-EP inked a peace agreement on August 24, 2016.
The deal, however, was rejected during the October 2, 2016 referendum with 50.24% voting against and 49.76% in favor.
"The components for the success of our peace negotiation and its eventual acceptance by the Filipino people are already in place. We have already legalized the Communist Party and other ideologies. We have progressives participating in our electoral processes. We are ready for peace," Pamintuan said.
After a six-year hiatus, the peace negotiation with the NDF was revived during the successful first round of talks in Oslo, Norway on August 22 to 28, 2016.
The second round is scheduled on October 6 to 10, this year.
The Royal Norwegian Government is sponsoring the ongoing peace negotiation.
"Our people wants peace. They are exuberant and ecstatic on its prospects. We owe it to them and the future generation to bring the armed conflict to a just and lasting conclusion," Pamintuan added.