NDFP seeks meeting with Duterte for renewal of talks
CAGAYAN DE ORO – Top peace negotiators of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) expressed willingness to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte in a rare homecoming opportunity since the talks collapsed last year.
Fidel Agcaoili, chair of the NDFP negotiating panel, said he would be accompanied by Coni Ledesma and Luis Jalandoni next month for a series of meetings.
“Ms. Coni Ledesma and I have a scheduled a trip to the Philippines this month in connection with our work as members of the NDFP component in the Joint Monitoring Committee under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL),” Agcaoili said.
“We will be accompanied by Mr. Luis Jalandoni as Senior Adviser to the NDFP Negotiating Panel,” he added.
As an agreement signed by both the government and NDFP, CARHRIHL and its mechanisms including the JMC still stand even if the talks are stalled.
The agreement seeks to preserve human dignity despite the violent condition of the conflict.
Agcaoili said they would also meet with the new Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines.
The Royal Norwegian Government is the third party facilitator of the peace process and has been instrumental in many peace initiatives in the country.
“In this regard, we welcome the opportunity to meet with the President unless he does not want to or his military is against it,” Agcaoili said.
The offer from the NDF came days after Vicente Ladlad, an NDF peace consultant, and two other were arrested in Metro Manila.
Ladlad was present in preparatory meetings with Duterte in Davao City before the talks resumed in 2016. /cbb
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