Agreement on 6 major issues bodes well for success of peace talks

OSLO, Norway – “Significant, positive developments and friendly atmosphere in the peace talks, with excellent facilitation of the Royal Norwegian Government,” said Luis Jalandoni, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel Chair, as the fourth day of the peace talks ended on a positive note.

The Negotiating Panels of the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) have reached a common understanding on the six points in the agenda as agreed upon at the start of the formal meetings.

“Good news to the Filipino people that the political prisoners would be released, and land reform and other social and economic reforms will be seriously undertaken. So, the farmers of Hacienda Luisita and Hacienda Look may be gladdened that these steps are going forward,” Jalandoni conveyed.

The Parties reached agreement on the following:reaffirmation of previously signed agreements, reconstitution of the JASIG list, acceleration of the formal talks in the peace negotiations, release of political prisoners, amnesty proclamation by Pres. Duterte and mode of interim ceasefire.

“But we need the people to continue building their strength to defend their rights and to work with us in bringing about a just and lasting peace in our country,” stressed Jalandoni.

Before the last Panel-to-Panel meeting ended, the NDFP brought to the GRP’s attention the planned demolition of the homes 353 fisherfolk and farmer families in Maragondon, Cavite. Real estate and construction companies, one of which is owned by bourgeois comprador Henry Sy, are claiming control over the 600-hectare beachfront of Patungan Cove.

According to a peasant group, Kasama-TK, some 300 policemen arrived on the night of August 24, on 10 buses and 7 six-by-six trucks.

“The revolutionary spirit of Bonifacio must be revived to intensify the struggle of the people of Maragondon and of the Filipino people,” said Jalandoni.

Andres Bonifacio, the leader of the Philippine Revolution of 1896 to end Spanish colonization in the country, was believed to have been betrayed and executed at the foot of Mount Nagpatong and Mount Buntis in Maragondon.

The Joint Statement for this round of the talks will be signed by both Panels on Friday, August 26 at 11am. Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brenden would attend the signing of the Joint Statement on the Resumption of the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations.
The Parties decided to hold formal meetings again in the second week of October with different working committees tackling various issues related to the proposed reforms in the social, economic and political fields. #