Thursday, December 20, 2012

GPH, NDF agree to nationwide ceasefire; continue talks under Special Track

From the Website of OPPAP

GPH, NDF agree to nationwide ceasefire; continue talks under Special Track

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Posted on Thursday, 20 December, 2012 - 10:39

The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front (NDF), in a meeting on the Special Track, agreed to a 27-day nationwide ceasefire, from December 20, 2012 to January 15, 2013. The bilateral declaration is the longest ceasefire between the two parties, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles announced today.
The two parties which met on December 17-18 at The Hague agreed to continue discussions on several issues including a possible truce. The meeting was facilitated by Ambassador Ture Lundh of the Royal Norwegian Government.

"We agreed to discuss the forging of a Common Declaration of National Unity and Just Peace, which upon signing by the Parties will trigger the immediate implementation of a truce," government chief negotiator Alexander Padilla said.

Both sides agreed to exchange comments on their respective drafts of the Common Declaration and to meet early next year to work towards its finalization.

According to the press communiqué signed by Lundh, the parties likewise agreed to resume talks on “further upholding national independence, democracy and human rights; committee of national unity, peace and development; agrarian reform, rural development and national industrialization.”

The issue of prisoner release was not discussed during the meeting on the Special Track.
"The GPH (Government of the Philippines) reiterated that this (prisoner release) is not a proper subject of the Special Track which should not be burdened by any preconditions as earlier agreed by the Parties," Padilla said.

It may be recalled that this issue has caused the impasse in the peace negotiations for the last two years.

Meanwhile, Deles extended her gratitude to the Norwegian facilitator.
“We thank the Royal Norwegian Government for its untiring efforts in supporting the peace negotiations.”

Joining Padilla were Office of the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs (OPAPA) Secretary Ronald Llamas, peace panel member Efren Moncupa, OPAPA Undersecretary Chito Gascon, and GPH panel secretariat head Carla Villarta.

The NDF were represented by Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair Jose Maria Sison, NDF Negotiating Panel Chair Luis Jalandoni, NDF panel members Fidel Agcaoili and Coni Ledesma, consultants Vicente Ladlad and Edre U. Olalia, and NDF panel secretariat head Ruth de Leon. #



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