UTRECHT, The Netherlands – As members of the National Democratic Front’s peace negotiating panel are preparing for the upcoming second round of talks in Oslo, Norway in three days, an official of the government peace panel met with the leaders in an informal talks.
Government peace panel member Hernani Braganza said the “back-channel talks” is where they “flesh out minor or major differences before panel members talk.”
“So by the time that we are talking, we know what is easy and what is difficult. That’s part of the process,” he told reporters at the NDF Information Office here Monday evening (past 12:00 midnight PH time).
Braganza who supervises three committees including the committee on social and economic reforms, ceasefire committee, and the joint monitoring committee on the comprehensive agreement on the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, arrived in Amsterdam Monday morning.
He said the informal talks may also discuss matters such as the schedule of the meetings.
“I hold three committees and Mr. (Fidel) Agcaoili hold two committees. The meeting should not be held simultaneously because we will not be able to attend it. More than that, all the decisions of the committee are approved by the panel,”he said.
Braganza, a former agrarian reform secretary, also said the meetings may discuss what the third party committee can help out to in complicated issues.
Braganza was joined by Atty. Gerald Gubatan, a member of the technical working group on the ceasefire committee. The government negotiators shared a dinner with the NDF leaders.
He said he hopes that the frameworks and outlines on the substantive topics will “harmonize” during the second round of talks.
“If that can be harmonized, the talks will be much smoother, considering that this has been a long delayed peace process in the Philippines,” he said.
Braganza first served as peace negotiator of the government with the NDF in 2001.
The second round of the peace talks, facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government, will be held on October 6 to 10 in Norway.
The negotiating panels will discuss the comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.(davaotoday.com)