PH, NDF execs meet, recommend 27-day holiday truce

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10:47 PM December 20th, 2012

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December 20th, 2012 10:47 PM

NDF and Philippine government representatives pose for a souvenir picture during a break in a meeting at The Hague in The Netherlands held on Dec. 17-18 and facilitated by Norway. PHOTO FROM NDF

LUCENA CITY—Communist rebel and Philippine government representatives held informal talks in The Netherlands last Monday, agreeing to keep peace talks alive and recommending a 27-day truce between guerrillas and soldiers.

In a statement sent by e-mail, Luis Jalandoni, head of the National Democratic Front of the  Philippines (NDF), said the communist and government panels met on Dec. 17 in The Hague. The meeting, said Jalandoni, was hosted by Norway.

According to Jalandoni, the panels agreed to continue discussions on several items, among them a common declaration of national unity and just peace, democracy and human rights, agrarian reform, rural development and national industrialization.

Present for the government were Ronald Llamas, President Aquino’s political adviser; Alexander Padilla, chair of the government panel for peace talks with the Left; Efren Moncupa, peace panel member; Undersecretary Chito Gascon, of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs; and Ma. Carla Munsayac-Villarta, head of the government peace panel secretariat.

Aside from Jalandoni, communist leaders who were at the meeting included Jose Ma. Sison, founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines; NDF peace panel members Fidel Agcaoili and Connie Ledesma; Vicente Ladlad, NDF political consultant; Edre Olalia, NDF legal consultant; Ruth de Leon, head of the NDF peace panel secretariat; and Rosario Agcaoili, staff member of the NDF peace panel.

Ambassador Ture Lundh of Norway served as facilitator during the meeting.

Jalandoni said the panels agreed to recommend a nationwide ceasefire from midnight of Dec. 20 to midnight of Jan. 15, 2013.

Communist rebels and soldiers went into a truce last year from Dec. 16 to Jan. 2.

Jalandoni said NDF representatives reiterated a demand for the release of detained suspected rebels. Jalandoni said the two parties agreed to meet again next year. With a report from Nikko Dizon in Manila

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