MALACANANG described Wednesday the release of four policemen who were abducted by communist rebels in Surigao del Norte as a "groundbreaking event" that could lead to the resumption of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front (NDF).
"This is a welcome development on the part of the NDF to release these four policemen. Certainly, we hope this is a groundbreaking event where the Communist Party of the Philippines -- New People’s Army -- National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) would look forward to resuming the peace process without any condition," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a press briefing.
Lacierda reiterated that the government is always prepared to sit down with them.
"We are always there. We are hopeful that this thing would move forward the peace table with respect to the left," he added.
The policemen, who were abducted when rebels raided their police station in Alegria, Surigao del Norte last July 10, were released at dawn on Tuesday in a remote village in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte.
Formal peace negotiation between the government and the NDF, the political front of the CPP/NPA, has been stalled since 2011. (SDR/Sunnex)