Gov't panel optimistic on peace talks with NDF-A A +A
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
THE Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel expressed optimism on Tuesday that it will make "more headway" for the peace process with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) this year.
GPH peace panel led by Alexander Padilla, in the New Year's message, said that both panels have laid the foundation for the continuation of the peace process.
The NDF, the political front of the CPP-NPA, has been talking with the government.
"There is no reason for us not to make more headway in 2013," the GPH panel said.
It described the peace process with the Maoist group to be most challenging since it began over two decades ago.
The talks in the past year and a half have been particularly trying, the panel added.
"But despite the setbacks, we are now back on track working together for a just and lasting peace. The process has moved forward," the panel said, citing the joint ceasefire that is in place between the government troops and the insurgents.
"A ceasefire is in place, stilling the guns over the Christmas season and allowing soldier and rebel to spend Christmas with family and friends. The ceasefire had also helped provide space and time for relief and rehabilitation work that has made it possible for Typhoon Pablo's victims in Davao and elsewhere to heal and rebuild," it added.
A joint yuletide truce between the government and the CPP-NPA-NDF has been ongoing since December 20, 2012 and will end on January 15.
"We pray that the ceasefire will hold and help steel the resolve of both sides for a just and enduring peace now and not later. This we owe to our people," the GPH panel said.
The GPH and the NDF have resumed the peace talks under a special track on December 17-18 at the Netherlands through the facilitation of Ambassador Ture Lundh of the Royal Norwegian Government.
Both panels agreed to continue the peace process. (SDR)