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NDFP sees end to insurgency under Duterte

/ 01:36 AM May 03, 2016
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DUTERTE CONNECTION Five police officers captured by the New People’s Army are turned over to presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte during ceremonies in a rebel-influenced village in the city’s Paquibato District. Seated at right are two NPA members. BARRY OHAYLAN/CONTRIBUTOR

LUCENA CITY—The chief peace negotiator of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is hopeful that the more than 40-year-old communist rebellion would end once Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte wins the presidential election next week.

“Because Mayor Duterte has consistently declared the necessity of peace dialogues with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA) and the NDFP to solve the long-standing armed conflict, peace talks under his presidency, should he win and become the next President, will have a favorable basis to resume,” Luis Jalandoni said in an online interview on Sunday night.

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“With the firm guidance of the principals of both sides, the two negotiating panels, following the stand of the leaderships of both sides, would have a good basis for finding ways and means to resume the peace talks, with a common respect and strong political will to move forward,” said Jalandoni, who is based in The Netherlands.

Duterte, the candidate of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), had declared that he would reopen peace negotiations with NDFP should he be elected President.

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In the Inquirer’s “Agenda of the Next President” series published when the national campaign started in February, Duterte, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe cited their positions on the peace negotiations with rebel groups.

Duterte, in that series, had said he would “reengage the peace process with rebel groups.”

The communist leadership has been demanding the release of detained rebels and leaders before the resumption of the negotiation, citing the provisions of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) signed by both parties in 1995. The government, however, rejected this precondition.

Jalandoni hopes that under the prospect of a Duterte presidency, with the mutual willingness of both parties to reopen the peace negotiation, any misunderstanding could be resolved. Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon

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TAGS: Elections 2016, Luis Jalandoni, Nation, National Democratic Front, news, Rodrigo Duterte
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