No peace talks until political prisoners are freed, NDF warns
No resumption of formal peace negotiations will happen on Aug. 20 if the government fails to release detained National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants.
This was the statement of NDF peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni on Saturday ahead of the peace negotiations between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines in Oslo, Norway.
“If the release of the 22 NDF consultants will not be realized , the NDF will reconsider the postponement of the peace talks until the issue of political prisoners will be resolved,” Jalandoni said in a video conference in Quezon City.
Exiled communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said the CPP was ready to issue an interim ceasefire after the resumption of the formal peace talks and the release of NDF consultants.
“There could be an interim ceasefire following the release of political prisoners and the resumption of formal peace negotiations,” Sison said in the same video conference with Jalandoni.
“CPP is willing to pursue peace talks on Aug. 20 and issue separate but coordinated ceasefire agreements,” he added.
The resumption of the peace talks between the government and the CPP-NDF is set on Aug. 20-27.
“The issue (not releasing NDF consultants) will complicate the talks of Aug. 20,” Jalandoni said.
Asked about the NDF’s condition to release the political prisoners, peace process adviser Jesus Dureza said they still needed to undergo a judicial process.
“We have to defer to the courts as judicial processes have to be complied with as what we have committed in the joint statement,” Dureza said in a text message.
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