We, the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) urge the Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) to come back to the negotiating table and realize the fifth round of formal talks as soon as possible.

The GRP and NDFP must act in consonance with the Filipino people’s clamor for peace negotiations and their demand for social, economic and political reforms to address the roots of the armed conflict and lay the basis for a just and lasting peace.

The GRP and NDFP must stand together to oppose and fight terrorism, terrorist groups and acts of terrorism.

We must condemn and must be resolved and determined to counteract the Maute group and Abu Sayaff which are wreaking havoc in Marawi City. These are terrorist groups linked to local reactionary forces, affiliated with ISIS and supported by US-CIA and other foreign entities.

By terrorism we mean actions that intimidate, terrorize and harm civilians solely or mainly in violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.

The level of counteraction against terrorism, as well as the nature, scope and duration must be appropriate and proportional to the degree of danger and threat and/or harm by the terrorist group concerned in Marawi City. Upon the success of the counter-terrorist measures, these must cease to allow normalcy and full respect for human rights as soon as possible.

In specific areas of cooperation and coordination, the armed forces of the GRP and NDFP shall be bound by a ceasefire agreement between them, pending the issuance of ceasefire declarations that are unilateral but simultaneous and reciprocal.

Preparations for the fifth round of formal talks must be undertaken through bilateral teams of the GRP and NDFP so that precious time is not lost. In this connection, all panelists, legal and political consultants and other personnel in the peace negotiations must be allowed to return to the Philippines and subsequently attend the fifth round of formal talks.

Signed in Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands on June 1, 2017.

On behalf of the NDFP Negotiating Panel:

Fidel V. Agcaoili