Romualdez hopes no obstacles will snag peace talks with communists | Inquirer News

Romualdez hopes no obstacles will snag peace talks with communists

/ 09:53 PM November 29, 2023

House Speaker Martin Romualdez

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (File photo from the official website of House of Representatives)

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez hopes that no conditions would hinder the resumption of peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the communist rebels, as resolving the decades-old armed conflict would be crucial to progress.

In a statement on Wednesday, Romualdez said he supports President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision to open the negotiations that hopefully lead to formal peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the government.


According to the speaker, he understands that this development would not immediately lead to the cessation of hostilities, but the decision of both sides to return to the negotiation table is a step in the right direction.


No immediate ceasefire

“We understand that the return to negotiations does not mean an immediate ceasefire between the two sides. This is just the start of a long road towards peace. Nevertheless, I hope that no conditions hinder the peace talks. Both sides should not falter despite obstacles throughout the negotiations,” Romualdez said in Filipino.

“True progress can only be attained if our guns are turned into tractors and plowing machines, and if our hands used for fighting unite towards nation-building.”

Romualdez said the House welcomed the willingness of the NDFP, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA) to talk again with the government.

READ: CPP lays out demands to bolster peace negotiations between gov’t, NDFP

“We are happy that the CPP-NDF-NPA remained open to talking with the government again and ending poverty and other social ails that have been the reason behind their armed struggle,” he said.

“I encourage our fellow Filipinos to support this historic endeavor. The journey towards peace is a long and challenging road but every step is a move towards attaining the future where Filipinos can live with dignity and prosperity. We will walk through this path together.”


Oslo Joint Communiqué

Romualdez’s statement comes a day after Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr — the presidential adviser on peace, reconciliation, and unity — announced that the two sides have reached a tentative agreement to seek a peaceful resolution to the decades-old armed conflict.

Under the agreement, dubbed the Oslo Joint Communiqué, the two parties stated they recognized the root issues of the armed conflict and agreed to a “principled and peaceful resolution.”

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“Resolving the roots of the armed conflict and ending the armed struggle shall pave the way for the transformation of the CPP-NPA-NDFP,” Galvez, who read the communiqué, said.

TAGS: Communist Party of the Philippines, communist rebels, Martine Romualdez, National Democratic Front of the Philippine, New People's Army, peace talks revival

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