Bello: There is hope for peace talks | SunStar

Bello: There is hope for peace talks

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Bello: There is hope for peace talks

Friday, November 10, 2017

BACOLOD. Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia (left) and Representative Greg Gasataya (center) meet with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the concurrent Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, during a seminar at Business Inn Thursday. Leonardia and Bello were colleagues during the 16th Congress. (Bacolod City PIO)

THE prospects for the resumption of government’s peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) are very bright.

This was stated by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the government’s chief peace negotiator with communist rebels, adding that the efforts to continue the peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) is moving forward.

Bello, who was the guest of honor at the 12th Safety Summit in Bacolod City Thursday, November 9, said they are just waiting for instructions from President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Based on the statement of the President, he is willing to talk again,” he said, adding that “the panel is just waiting for his instructions.”

Earlier, the Cabinet official expressed confidence that the President will not “abandon” his pledge to the Filipino people to bring “lasting peace for our country” by coming up with a successful deal with the communists.

Bello made the pronouncement even after Duterte, on October 5, said that the revival of talks between the government and the communist party was “not good for the country.”

The government was initially slated to resume the fifth round of talks with the communist leaders on May 27 to June 1 but it suspended the negotiations following the "serious challenges" both parties were facing.

In July, Bello announced that the canceled peace negotiations were about to push through in the third week of August but President directed the government panel not to resume talks because of the communists' apparent lack of sincerity in negotiating with his administration.

Duterte also said on his second State of the Nation Address that the communist group was the government’s next target when the crisis in war-torn Marawi City ends.

Despite the cancellation of talks, Duterte is yet to issue a formal notice of termination of peace talks with the communist rebels. (with reports from SunStar Philippines)

Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on November 10, 2017.

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