Except for one political detainee who died while in prison, the numbers of political prisoners released and those arrested under the present government are equal, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines said.
The former professor of President Rodrigo Duterte now has stronger words against him following the cancellation of the fifth round of talks.
In a statement Thursday night, June 1, the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said they want to resume the talks “as soon as possible.”
Hours after President Rodrigo Duterte warned of arresting communist leaders who will return from the Netherlands, Jose Maria Sison said the peace panels would have issued a joint statement on the fight against terrorism earlier.
Negotiators of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines said they are confused on the government’s dealing with them after Duterte ordered for the arrest of their negotiators who were released to participate in the resumption of the formal talks in August last year.
Even with the cancellation of the fifth round of talks, delegates of the government peace panel and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines continued to hold unilateral and informal meetings here Tuesday, March 31.
Peace negotiators of the communists who will be coming back to the Philippines were told that they are immune from arrests, in the wake of aborted fifth round of talks with the Philippine government.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines said they are disappointed with the setback suffered by the formal talks with the government as they hoped to achieve an agreement on social and economic reforms.
The GRP’s decision not to participate in the 5th round of formal talks threatens to squander the goodwill and the gains that have already been achieved in the peace negotiations in the past nine months, especially in the crafting of a substantive agreement on social and economic reforms.
While we have gone this far and the Filipino people are rooting/supporting us, there are challenges that we must together address as we meet here today on the scheduled 5th round of peace negotiations.