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.
The government peace panel has finally sealed the fate of the fifth round of talks by withdrawing from it.
After an impasse on the fifth round of talks on the first day of the supposed opening ceremony yesterday, members of the peace panels from the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines gathered in a Eucharistic mass officiated by a Filipino Archbishop here Sunday, May 28.
The fifth round of talks between the Philippine government and communists was put on hold on the day that it was supposed to open here Saturday, May 27. Both peace panels said it will be deliberating further on the formal resumption of the talks today.
The scheduled opening ceremony for the fifth round of talks between the government and the communists was suspended as the Philippine government announced that it will not participate in the scheduled fifth round of talks here until communists cease its armed operations.
Gabriela Women’s party Representative Arlene Brosas stressed that addressing the roots of the armed conflict must take precedence over the crafting of a bilateral ceasefire agreement.