From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 26): Bello says burial of former President Marcos at LNMB not to affect peace talks with rebels
President Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Silvestre Bello III is convinced that the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) will not affect the peace talks between the government and rebel groups.
But, he noted that if ever it would have an effect it would not be substantial, adding that they rather talk about on how to maintain peace in the country.
“Kung meron yang epekto, hindi naman masyadong substantial -- big sabihin, hindi naman ito magiging dahilan para hindi isulong yung usapang pangkapayapaan. Oo, dahil may mas mahalaga kaming pag-uusapan doon sa peace talks kaysa itong paglilibing kay dating Pangulong Marcos,” the Labor and Employment chief said in a radio interview.
Bello was reacting on the statement ofNational Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) adviser Luis Jalandoni that allowing the former Chief Executive to be buried at the LNMB would have an effect on the peace talks.
He added that the NDFP adviser did not say anything about it when they were together in Baguio City recently.
“Well, in fairness naman, wala naming binanggit. Magkasama kami kahapon sa Baguio ni former chairman Jalandoni. Nagsalita kami doon sa Baguio City at hindi naman po niya binabanggit ‘yun,” he said.
With this, Bello reported that the substantive issues they tackled during their last meeting were the social and economic reforms.
“Yung social and economic reforms. Ito yung tinatawag naming the heart and soul of the peace negotiations dahil dito pag-uusapan namin ‘yung mga bagay-bagay na tumututok sa dahilan kung bakit tayo nagkakaroon ng internal armed conflict,” he said.
The government official added, “Dito namin pag-uusapan yung mga root causes of an armed rebellion, so bakit tayo nagaaway-away, bakit mayroong rebellion against government? Dito namin tatalakayin yan, pag-uusapan namin kung bakit napakahirap, napakarami sa ating mga kababayan ang naghihirap. So tatalakayin yan sa issue ng land reform, pag uusapan namin yan, mga tinatawag na national industrialization.”
At the same time, Bello is hoping that the ceasefire agreement will be signed on the target date which is on Dec. 10.
“Ongoing naman eh, ongoing naman yung talks eh. Nag uusap. Patuloy naman yung kanilang pag-uusap and hopefully pag magkaroon ng consensus, magkakaroon ng paglalagda and hopefully, for symbolism, eh magagawa yung signing of the agreement sa December 10 which is the International Human Rights Day,” he said.