CPP, NDF to declare ‘indefinite’ unilateral ceasefire after Oslo talks

Aug. 27, 2016
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Members of the New People’s Army singing the Internationale during the opening ceremonies for the release of its two prisoners of war in Lupon, Davao Oriental province on Friday, August 26. (Earl O. Condeza/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY — The Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) announced that they will declare and issue a unilateral ceasefire to its armed-wing, the New People’s Army to reciprocate the government’s indefinite ceasefire which took effect on August 21.

This developed after the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) on Friday, August 26 ended the five-day formal talks with both parties agreeing in six points, namely: reaffirmation of previously signed agreements, reconstitution of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) list, acceleration of the peace negotiations, releases of political prisoners, amnesty proclamation and ceasefire.

“We further welcome the acceleration of the peace negotiations…Norway is committed to assist you in your way to peace. We are happy to welcome you again in October and I can promise you Indian summer in October,” said Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende.

“The joint statement that you are about to sign is unprecedented and a step toward just and lasting peace,” he said during the closing ceremonies of the five-day peace talks.

The “Joint Statement on the Resumption of the Formal Peace Talks in the Peace Negotiations” was signed by the Negotiating Panels on August 26, at the Saga Hall of the Scandic Holmenkollen Park Hotel.

Apart from the six points, as mutually agreed, the GRP is expected to recommend to Duterte  the issuance of an Amnesty Proclamation which will order the release of all political prisoners and prisoners listed by the NDFP.  However, the NDFP noted, that such order is subject to concurrence of the Congress.

“To the political prisoners, we deeply value your unflinching stand for the people. We rely on your invaluable support. We are resolutely committed to join you and many human rights organizations and peace advocates in pressing for your freedom as a matter of justice,” said NDF peace panel chairman Luis Jalandoni.

“This resumption of the formal talks has had the unique privilege of having our newly released NDFP consultants,” said Jalandoni.

For his part,  NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison said the positive results of the GRP and NDFP peace talks are geared towards a lasting peace.

“I am sure that the Filipino people appreciate the work of the two negotiating panels and that they are elated by the results of the formal talks. These advance their struggle for national and social liberation and for a just and lasting peace,” said Sison.

Both the GRP and NDFP have also agreed to accelerate the peace negotiations by setting the work timelines of the Reciprocal Working Committees on Social and Economic Reforms (RWC-SER), and the Reciprocal Working Groups on Political and Constitutional Reforms (RWG-PCR) and on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (RWG-EHDF).

The next round of peace talks is slated on October 8-12, 2016 in Oslo, Norway. (davaotoday.com)

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