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PH gov’t, NDF rebels plan to sign ceasefire deal by December

/ 03:32 PM November 07, 2016

The Philippine government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) may have a bilateral ceasefire document to be signed before December.

Government chief negotiator Silvestre Bello said they are planning to come up with the final document by the end of November or first week of December.

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“But we are eyeing the last week of November since we need to address other concerns in the talks,” he said in a statement on Monday.

Both sides previously agreed to have a bilateral ceasefire agreement signed on or before Oct. 26 but decided to postpone the signing.

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“There are still several items that need to have a consensus, such as the monitoring mechanism, the parameters of hostile acts, the definition of buffer zones,” Bello said.

Last August, both the Philippine government and NDF agreed on implementing their respective ceasefires.

The government chief negotiator also said that they are planning to release prisoners this November “as part of confidence-building measures in the peace process” but at the same time clarified that it was not a precondition to the bilateral ceasefire.

“Releasing of prisoners based on humanitarian reasons is on its way within this month… This is in line with the previous pronouncement of President Duterte on the releases. We are asking for some time from the NDF and the public since the releases must undergo judicial processes,” Bello said. RAM/rga

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TAGS: ceasefire deal, Government, National Democratic Front, NDF, Philippine
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