Bistek ready to take cognizance of NDFP consultants
DAVAO CITY – Hoping to help solve the recent bumps in the talks with the communists, Quezon City Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista offered cognizance for National Democratic Front peace consultants that were released on bail.
Bautista, in a statement issued on Friday, said the offer of cognizance would hopefully help in averting situations that would cause further irritants in the negotiations.
“If we would be asked and such assistance would be allowed by the courts, we don’t see why not,” Bautista said.
Bautista made the offer after the Office of the Solicitor General issued a statement threatening the re-arrest of NDF consultants following President Duterte’s decision not to participate in the talks.
Solicitor General Jose Calida earlier said that he was eyeing sending petitions for the cancellation of bail bonds for at least 18 NDF consultants.
The consultants were released as part of the commitment of the government for the resumption of the talks.
Bautista noted that politicians and institutions including civil society organizations and religious groups provided legal responsibility for released political prisoners in the past.
Present in the previous negotiations and meetings, Bautista was hands-on in the peace process as a government adviser on social and economic reforms.
Despite the offer, Bautista expressed that it would be better for the interest of the country and the peace negotiations if the consultants will not be rearrested.
“I personally hope that our NDFP counterparts shall not be ordered re-arrested because I wish that formal negotiations will resume soon,” Bautista said.
The peace negotiations between the government and the NDF has again stalled following accusations from both sides of continuing attacks.
Sources from both parties said that the panels will continue to explore ways to overcome the recent snag in the negotiations.
Despite the challenges in the negotiations, both peace panels have worked hard and achieved significant achievements in the talks especially on the aspects of human rights, socio-economic reforms, and political and constitutional reforms.
Just this year, both parties agreed on the free distribution of land for thousands of poor farmers in the country as the basic principle of agrarian reform.
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