Closing Remarks at the Second Round of Formal Talks

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Hon. Special Envoy Elisabeth Slattum and other officials of the Royal Norwegian Government
Hon. Silvestre Bello III and Fidel Agcaoili
Beloved Compatriots in the GRP and NDFP Panels and Delegations
And all dear friends present,

As NDFP chief political consultant, I congratulate both the GRP and NDFP panels and delegations for the successful conclusion of the second round of formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

The most essential success that has been achieved is the agreement on common outlines of prospective comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

The schedule for fleshing out of the outlines, and eventual exchange of drafts and bilateral meetings to forge the tentative comprehensive agreements has been further firmed up.

There is mutual understanding on the rendering of justice to the unjustly imprisoned political prisoners accumulated during the Arroyo and Aquino regimes through prompt compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

I reiterate that the amnesty and release of all political prisoners will be a big incentive to the attainment of a more stable joint or bilateral ceasefire and to the acceleration of the peace process.

The success of the second round of formal talks has been possible because of the mindful, caring and efficient facilitation provided by the RNG and in particular Special Envoy Elisabeth Slattum and her entire team and by the Norwegian Peace-Building Resource Center (NOREF). We thank all of you.#