Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kapayapaan lauds GRP, NDF to agreeing to talk peace again

With the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) agreeing to the resumption of peace talks in The Netherlands, progressive group Kapayapaan expressed its joy and gratitude for the development.

“We thank the GRP and NDF for agreeing to continue the peace talks, to re-institute their respective unilateral ceasefires, to work towards the completion of the substantive agenda on social and economic reforms, move towards the political and constitutional reforms and work out an agreement on a mutual bilateral ceasefire,” Kapayapaan convenor Father Benjamin Alforque said in a statement March 13.

He added continuing formal peace talks is a positive answer to the people’s clamor for peace through resolving the roots of the armed conflict.

“We thank all parties, groups and individuals who supported the call #PeaceTalksItuloy . We thank the lawmakers, artists, church groups, members of the academe, human rights defenders, workers unions, peasant associations and youth groups who supported the call. We expect that they would continue to monitor the progress of the talks and give their support for the positive outcomes,” Alforque stressed.

Informal talks between the government and the NDF were held in Utrecht on March 10 and 11.

The meeting was hosted by third party and facilitator Royal Norwegian Government led by Elizabeth Stattum.

“Finally, we urge both parties to have the courage to stick it out together for the sake peace and the interests of the people. Outstanding issues such as the release of political prisoners, human rights violations and the militarization and displacement of communities should be resolved.

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