MABALACAT CITY -- Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel Casilao reiterated his call for the resumption of the peace talks to resolve the farmers' long time land issue.

Casilao at the same time urged President Duterte to breakout from the issue of armed clashes between the New People's Army (NPA) and government forces and address landlessness.

“The president himself acknowledged that the fighters of the NPA are farmers, and urged them to abandon their struggle, in exchange, he will find money and place them on resettlements and proceed with land reform,” Casilao said.

Casilao is convinced that the latest turn of events on the peace talks is not exclusively due to the armed clashes but is also shaped by the recent developments.

He mentioned the agreement of the government panel GRP and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on free distribution of land under the Socio-Economic Reforms agenda during the third round of formal talks in Rome, Italy last month.

Casilao also cited the move of the Department of Agrarian Reform headed by Secretary Rafael Mariano against land monopoly of Lapanday in Davao Del Norte.

Another one is the turnabout attitude of the President with the US upon its change of presidency, according to Casilao.

“We have been asserting that the peace talks is a venue to resolve to centuries-old landlessness problem in the country, and its suspension or termination would only favor powerful and influential hacienderos and foreign firms such as Lapanday in Mindanao and also mining, at the cost of worsening poverty and hunger among farmers,” Casilao said.

Casilao said the GRP-NDFP peace talks are not constrained to the armed conflict between the NPA and government forces but on the root causes that fuels it.

He stressed that national development has been arrested by the absence of genuine agrarian reform that is a prerequisite to economic and social advancement.

“War against the people is an offspring of its parents, feudalism and imperialism, and this unholy troika is an anti-thesis of peace and social justice, this will certainly result similar atrocities such as the Lumad killings and mass evacuations, in Alcadev, Paquibato and others,” the lawmaker added.

Casilao urged the president to adopt an independent and nationalist foreign policy, re-orient and re-organize the US-trained Armed Forces of the Philippines to weed out its subserviency to a foreign colonial power.

“We should instill them (soldiers) the legacies of Katipunan Supremo Andres Bonifacio, General Emilio Jacinto, General Antonio Luna, Gregorio Del Pilar, Lt. Crispin Tagamolila and the late Navy Captain Danilo Vizmanos, who fought for national liberation and democracy,” he said.