NDF committed to peace talks, says Jalandoni

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LUCENA CITY—The National Democratic Front is open to the resumption of peace talks with the Aquino administration, the rebels’ chief negotiator, Luis Jalandoni, said on Wednesday.

In a statement e-mailed to the Inquirer from his base in the Netherlands, Jalandoni said the NDF had “continually asserted that it is committed to peace negotiations that address the roots of the armed conflict and pave the way to a just and lasting peace.”

Jalandoni assailed government officials for allegedly “acting irresponsibly by issuing bellicose statements” about terminating the negotiations.

He brushed aside as “completely untrue” that Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles had informed the Dutch government, which is facilitating the discussions, that the Aquino administration had terminated the talks.

Jalandoni said the government had not informed Ambassador Ture Lundh either formally or informally of such termination.

He said that the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) of 1995 required a written notice by either party in ending the talks. “No written notice of termination of the Jasig and the peace negotiations has been given,” he said.

Jalandoni added that all immunity guarantees contained in Jasig would remain in full force even after such termination.

The talks between the two panels have been stalled since 2004.

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