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2月8日のまにら新聞から

Left-leaning Cabinet members urge government to continue peace talks

[ 518 words|2017.2.8|英字 (English) ]

Left-leaning Cabinet members of President Rodrigo Duterte urged on Tuesday the government to continue with the peace talks.

This was contained in a statement released by Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, and National Anti-Poverty Commission Lead Convenor Liza Maza.

"As heads of national government agencies tasked to address poverty and improve the quality of life of the Filipino, we believe that the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) should move the peace negotiations with the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) forward," they said.

The officials said the agenda on the table, the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), is the most substantive aspect in the negotiations and is key to lasting peace and long-term poverty eradication.

"We are one with the peace advocates, legislators, and individuals who urge both parties to resume the talks. We will continue to engage within the Cabinet and the rest of the administration towards the resumption of the talks and to strengthen the civilian voice in the peace process," said the officials, who attended the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Duterte scrapped the peace talks with the NDF, the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army, after the rebrls allegedly launched ambuscades, resulting in the death of six soldiers.

The three Cabinet officials noted after 15 years of impasse, "the peace negotiations have made historic strides on many fronts."

"This time, by pursuing peace, and through the political will of President Duterte, the talks have been productive. The Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines have never been closer in their articulation of a shared vision of a society that addresses the root causes of war ? poverty and inequality," they said.

In the third round of talks in Rome, Italy last month, they said both parties surpassed earlier expectations and were able to exchange initial views on their respective drafts of the CASER.

They have reached a common understanding of problems the agrarian unrest in the country and have agreed in principle to the free distribution of land to farmers and farm workers, they said.

Both parties also reached a decision to accelerate the negotiation process through simultaneous discussions of technical working committees of the remaining substantive agenda, as the discussion on the CASER commences.

The Reciprocal Working Groups on Political and Constitutional Reforms (RWGs-PCR) were able to exchange views on the proposal to form a federal form of government and the need for safeguards and constitutional guarantees as demanded by the people.

The Cabinet officials lamented that the peace negotiations were stalled.

"It is unfortunate that the talks have now come to a standstill. Let each side come to terms with the compelling reasons why we have come to the negotiating table in the first place. For it is the welfare of the poor Filipinos, in their millions, that is at the core of the peace negotiations," they said.

"Let us give just and lasting peace a chance. Continue the GRP-NDF peace talks and pursue socio-economic and political reforms for the people," they added. Celerina Monte/DMS