Duterte’s meeting with NDFP leaders canceled
DAVAO CITY — The meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and the leaders National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has been canceled.
Fidel Agcaoili, chief negotiator of the NDFP peace panel, told the Inquirer that they were advised by their government counterparts to postpone the scheduled homecoming because the appointment with Duterte was canceled.
“Hindi na muna. Pinayuhan ako ng GRP panel. kinansela daw ang set appointment with the Presidentv (Not now. I was advised by the GRP panel that the appointment with the President had been canceled),” Agcaoili said.
Agcaoili was set to fly back home with NDFP’s senior adviser Luis Jalandoni and panel member Coni Ledesma this month for the November 23 meeting with Duterte.
The NDFP peace negotiators also planned to attend a meeting for the Joint Monitoring Committee, which is the part of the implementing mechanism of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
The supposed homecoming sent ripples of hope to peace advocates who were wishing that this would jumpstart the stalled formal talks between the government and the communists.
However, statements from different sources raising the possibility of arrests doused the excitement.
Agcaoili explained that the government panel did not mention any threats of arrests, but the problem is the lack of a new perspective for the meeting.
“Wala namang sinabing threat of arrest o anything, kundi kinansela na daw ang set appointment with the President on 23 Nov. At mahirap daw mag-usap kung walang new perspective,” Agcaoili said.
(No one has said anything about threats of arrest, but the appointment with the President on Nov. 23 was canceled because it is hard to talk without a new perspective.) /ee
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