Duterte to gov’t peace panel: Speed up settlement of key issues
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the government peace panel to speed up the settlement of key issues at the resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) this week.
“President Duterte has instructed the government panel to work for an early settlement of the issues as he calls on the nation to provide support to the efforts to ultimately bring peace in the land,” Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza said in a statement on Tuesday.
The third round of peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDF will resume in Rome on January 19 to 25.
Dureza said the “third round of talks hopes to tackle the still unfinished discussions on the proposed bilateral ceasefire vis-a-vis the issues on the releases of prisoners.”
“The crucial agenda items on socio-economic reforms; constitutional and political reforms; and end of hostilities and disposition of forces are on the table for discussions,” he said.
“These issues, although difficult, are surmountable with both sides sharing common aspirations for peace,” he added.
Dureza said the “preparatory work and engagements by both sides, respectively headed by Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Fidel Agcaoili, even before the 3rd round of talks auger well for possible significant progress with the hosting and facilitation of the Norwegian team headed by Ambassador Elisabeth Slattum.”
“The outcomes of the 3rd round of talks can bring us closer to achieving some possible milestones for sustainable peace,” Dureza said. RAM/rga