DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines has again hit a snag, and for party-list group Bayan Muna, the delay will only serve the saboteurs of the process.
In a statement on Friday, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate expressed dismay over the delay of the resumption of the stalled talks between the GRP and NDFP.
Zaratre said the issues raised by Presidential Adviser Sec. Jesus Dureza can be addressed at the same time that the peace talks are ongoing.
“They should not be used as stumbling blocks or preconditions for the resumption of the negotiations. The longer it takes for the talks to restart, the peace spoilers and saboteurs would also have a longer time to sabotage the process,” the progressive solon pointed out.
In a separate statement on Friday, Sec. Dureza said the resetting of the planned peace talks is exactly for the purpose of protecting the gains achieved in the backchannel talks prior to formal resumption of peace negotiations.
“History teaches of many peace deals that suffered setbacks due to the lack public support and this is precisely why we have decided to engage the public and have consultations with various sectors to protect those gains,” he added.
The peace adviser emphasized that getting public support and goodwill while in the course of peace negotiations is indispensable.
But for Rep. Zarate, the peace talks for a just and lasting peace have long been supported by the Filipino people.
“Indeed, addressing the root causes of the armed conflict like landlessness, oppression, and exploitation, among others, will certainly get the continued support of the majority of Filipinos,” he added.
Zarate urged the government to resume the talks, stressing that “it is only those who benefit and profit from the current inequitable and unjust system will not support the peace talks and will do all they can to sabotage it.” (davaotoday.com)