WE welcome the recent statement of Secretary Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser to the Peace Process, that President Rodrigo Duterte has directed government negotiators to work on the resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The NDFP, on the other hand, said it is open to the possibility of resuming peace talks with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) “without preconditions.”
These pronouncements come at the heels of House Resolution No. 1803 signed by more than 60 Representatives urging the President to resume and continue the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.
As leaders of churches in the country, we appreciate these developments especially after we have lamented President Duterte’s signing of Proclamation No. 360, formally terminating the peace talks last November and the government’s subsequent declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorist organizations.
We hope that the atmosphere for the resumption of the stalled talks will continue to spread positively especially after we have celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
We also appeal to the Senate to support the Resolution of their peers in Congress by coming up with a similar action. We call on all Filipinos to pray and tirelessly work for peace, as Jesus said to this disciples “…Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you…” (John 14;27). --Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform