THE peace negotiation between the Government of the Philippine (GPH) and the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) is set to resume, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAOPP) Secretary Jesus Dureza said on Tuesday during a press conference at Apo View Hotel.
“We are all set, unless something happens in between but I don’t think there will be, so we look forward to the resumption of the peace talk,” Secretary Dureza said in an interview with SunStar Davao adding he is confident that this talk will succeed.
He added the government’s peace panel is all set to fly to Norway for the official resumption despite the continuing armed conflict and issues for the release of red inmates.
“All preparations towards this formal resumption of negotiations with CPP-NPA, and we are ready to take the trip to make that thing happened,” Dureza underscored.
The official date of the resumption is originally on August 20, but because of travel changes, it was moved to August 22.
The former date will be devoted by the peace negotiating panel for travel from the Philippines to Norway.
“The schedule is still be the same, we are going to meet with them on August 22, that is the set date for the meeting in Oslo, Norway,” Dureza said.
Peace doesn’t happen overnight, thus, Dureza said “Traveling the peace road is not a well paved road, there will be humps and bumps along the way, but we’re staying the course.”
Release of red prisoner
CPP-NPA has demanded the release of their political prisoners.
As of now, the Supreme Court (SC) allowed the release of National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants whose cases were filed in the highest court.
NDF consultants included Satur Ocampo, Randall Echanis, and Vicente Ladlad, who were granted a provisional liberty with corresponding cash bonds to appear in the peace talks.
They were requested to be present in the peace negotiation in Oslo, Norway.
Dureza said the remaining prisoners are yet to be released on the basis of court orders.
“We are working on the release of the first batch of CPP-NPA NDF members who are needed in the negotiations and the resumption, since they have to be released on the basis of judicial processes,” he said.
Dureza expressed a positive outlook that the released of 11 prisoners will push through and the peace talk will prosper.
SC, however, denied temporary and conditional liberty to Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma, chairman and secretary general of the CPP-NPA, respectively, Tirso Alcantara, Alex Birondo, Winona Birondo, Maria Concepcion Bocala, Reynante Gamara, Alan Jazmines, Ma. Loida Magpatoc and Adelberto Silva.
They were all detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City because their cases are still being resolved by regional trial courts and are thus not under the jurisdiction of the SC.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered concerned agencies to work on the temporary release of key political prisoners of the communist movement to attend the peace talks in Oslo, Norway.
In a previous statement of NDF peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni, he said on Saturday the failure of the release of the requested consultant might complicate the talks on August 22 and might “reconsider postponement.”