Marcos burial issue won’t affect peace talks with NDF, says Bello
The controversial burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani will not have substantial effect on the peace talks with communist rebels, said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in an interview on government radio Saturday.
Bello, chief negotiator of the government panel with the National Democratic Front, said while the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is against the Marcos’ interment at the national heroes cemetery, he is optimistic the rebel group remains focused on forging peace with the government.
“If there is an effect, it’s not substantial. It will not be a reason for not moving forward with the peace process,” Bello said in an interview over dzRB radio.
“There are more important things we need to talk about in the peace process then the burial of former President Marcos,” he added.
The CPP, in a statement on Thursday, urged the public to hold protests to compel President Rodrigo Duterte to reverse the “historical wrong it committed against the people and demand an end to all the legacies of martial law.”
“By protesting the hero’s burial of Marcos, the Filipino people, especially the younger generation, are demonstrating how they have not forgotten the brutalities and crimes of the Marcoses,” said the CPP.
“The people must demand Duterte to prove himself not a Marcos by fulfilling his promise to release all political prisoners en masse through an amnesty proclamation,” it added.
There were reports quoting former National Democratic Front (NDF) peace panel chair Luis Jalandoni saying Marcos’ burial might affect the peace talks.
Bello said he has not heard Jalandoni made any negative statement when they were in a forum in Baguio City on Friday.
He is confident despite the recent Marcos controversy the two sides will still sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement on December 10.
“The talks are ongoing and hopefully we can have a consensus,” he said. Emmanuel Tupas/DMS