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NDF to resume peace talks with government


Mark Ernest Villeza – The Philippine Star

December 11, 2023 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Democratic Front (NDF) has announced its decision to re-enter formal peace talks with the Philippine government after six years.

The decision, the NDF said, is based on the premises and context outlined in the Joint Statement of Nov. 23 between the Philippine government and the NDF, signed in Oslo, Norway.

The Joint Statement announced that the two parties have agreed to a “principled and peaceful resolution of the armed conflict resolving the roots of the armed conflict and ending the armed struggle.”

The NDF claimed to have consistently emphasized the importance of addressing the root causes of the armed conflict, highlighting the land problem that significantly impacts more than 70 percent of the country’s population, particularly the peasantry.

“We have repeatedly stressed that it is necessary to address the roots of the problems affecting our people,” the political wing of the local communist movement said in a statement on Saturday.

The NDF stated that the struggle for land must be a focal point in the peace talks.

The group underscored the significance of building upon fundamental bilateral agreements, such as The Hague Joint Declaration of Sept. 1, 1992, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

These agreements, they said, remain binding between the parties.

While acknowledging that various issues and concerns remain outstanding and need negotiation, the NDF categorically rejects any talk, insinuation, or demand for the surrender of the democratic front or revolutionary struggle of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army and NDF.

They highlighted that the peace negotiations are not discussions for capitulation but rather a “unique opportunity to find mutually acceptable and principled ways of addressing the root causes of the civil war.” — Cecille Suerte Felipe

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