Church leaders call for revival of talks with NDF

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Catholic and Protestant church leaders on Thursday urged the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) to bring the peace negotiations back on track and resolve the decades-old communist insurgency in the country.

In a statement, the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) also urged the Aquino administration to release the NDF consultants who are in government custody, the bone of contention in the talks which caused its shelving in February 2011.

“As written in the book of Nehemiah, God’s people said, ‘Let us start rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.’ We therefore exhort both panels to rebuild! Break the impasse now!” the PEPP said.

“Our call to rebuild is also an appeal to President Benigno S. Aquino III to shepherd the formal peace talks between the (government) and the (NDF) just like he did with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front). His commitment to the negotiations can help create a positive atmosphere to resume the formal talks,” the group said.

The signatories included Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma SJ, DD; Fr. Rex R. B. Reyes Jr. of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines; Bishop John R. Tayoto of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches; Sr. Aurora A. Codiam, SIHM, of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines–Women; and Bishop Felixberto L. Calang of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum.

They issued the statement after meeting in Baguio City for the 3rd Ecumenical Church Leaders Summit on Peace.

“This has been the largest gathering of church leaders brought together by the PEPP, with 76 leaders from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao,” the statement said.

“We have gathered to bring our collective strength together in an effort to encourage a breakthrough in the impasse that has stalled the peace talks since February 2011,” it added.

The PEPP said its plea to the government to release the NDF consultants did not hinge solely on the contested issue of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) but also on “the basis of humanitarian and other practical reasons.”

“If need be, we support that both panels immediately reconstruct the Jasig list to ensure that the security of all those involved from both sides is respected and guaranteed,” the group said.

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  • virgoyap

    If we are really sincere to achieve PEACE in our country I think the government should be the one to take the first step to have one, just as P-Noy took the initiative to have peace with the MILF. I think this is the ripe time while the President has still the wide support of the people.

  • No Mind

    Thank you Church leaders. You are now on the right track – refrain from being the 6 – GOD

  • Philcruz

    Eto na naman sila. Nakisawsaw here, there and everywhere.

    • ruben_bush

       dapat ang asikassuhin nila  ay ang pedophilia sa loob ng simbahan.  madaming pari na may mga kasong sexual abuse ng kababaihan at mga batang maliliit. kung pro-life talaga ang simbahan, buksan ang investigation sa mga ito.  bakit niyo itinatago? bakit kayo tahimik ???  bago kayo mag judge sa iba, yung bakuran niyo muna ayusin niyo.

  • Jarred Pulido

    CAtholic and PROTESTANT leaders? magagalit mga holier than thou catholic talibans nyan. pekeng relihiyon DAW yan. Wag dapat ituloy yan. Masama sa bansa natin yan according to them.

  • concern_netizen

    Negotiate for what? What do we need from them? NDF and their ideology is already irrelevant. Besides, a number of their comrades are now holding key positions in the government. Many of them are members of the media wherein different ideologies are discussed freely without restraints. But if they are still pushing to switch our current system of government and expect us to forget the crimes and transgression committed years back, then might as well we leave them hiding in the bundoks. Their desire to integrate back to society should be unconditional. If they committed a crime, then face justice. If they are clean, then find a job. It’s that simple.

  • Reign

    Hmmmm.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W7TPARCYJFCSA3PBQAM3MVZO3E kurakut

    DI BA PARI SI JALANDONI? 

  • Abraham Ortiz

    No way! If you have done that to the Philippines,that is,killing some of the people that did not follow your ideology and some are known to you as your friends,don’t listen to these group who have a lost cause.Just imagine,they term extortion as Revolutionary tax!If you listen to them,then you’ve been had!

  • Mux

    Negotiate for what? Less revolutionary taxes? Less terrorism? Wipe them all out! That is the only language these terrorists understand!

  • ruben_bush

    Father, negotiate kaya muna kayo sa mga inabuso ng mga kaparian.  Yung mga biktima ng sexual abuse, mga babae at munting mga bata na inabuso ng mga paring pedophiles na hanggang ngayon ay itinatago at ipinagtatanggol ng simbahan. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4XVVCOAZXYTPN2X3IPFCFDSKFM Melvin

    Lahat na lang pinakikialaman ng simbahan… Parang isa na rin sangay ng gobyerno ang simbahan katoliko… Pero hindi naman matanggap na talonan sa pagsasabatas ng RH Bill… Bakit kaya ganun ang kukote ng mga taga simbahan?

  • Arcsolo

    the scriptures of the Catholic and Protestant basing their statements are out of context to the ongoing impasse between the (Philippine) government and the left extremists (CPP-NPA-NDF).

    Nehemiah wrote it out of the land of exile, and urged his own people for repentance for the sins they made against God (read the Bible, even before Nehemiah’s time).

    the communist rebels were never forced to exile (in fact, there were invitations for them to come home before but they refused) and there is no sign of repentance on their part. to be exact, they have no intention of giving any good-will to our society: repeated skirmishes are reported in Northern Mindanao; extorting companies for revolutionary taxes; and even nabbing people at their own whim. 

    i believe we must make peace with our communist brothers, but time has proven it that their rigid stance, and double-standards are counter-productive in initiating peace. besides, the communists have a different perspective way of life, that they appear too rigid to bend on a society prone to imperfections. that’s problem with communists – they see faults, while democrats see it as evolution of society.

    to our Catholic and Protestant leaders: i know you mean the good of our society; yet, you must also look at the other side of the fence, and slide your feet on another man’s shoes. making peace is about meeting half-way and talk about each one’s view-point and ways about resolving it, and not about bridging a gap between two warring principles. 

  • Garibaldi_II

    Negotiate for peace with the NDF? Bandits, that’s what they are who feed from the honey they suck from the people. Com munism is dead. How many more lives will be lost for the sake of bast ard ideology? Defeat them to the core. Deny them of their power base: create conditions for opportunities, develop the countryside and invest in people. The NDF never negotiated in good faith for they were blinded by bad motives and bad reasons to topple a duly constituted government.

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