Gov’t, NDFP preparing to resume peace talks – Bello
The government is gearing up for the revival the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), government chief negotiator Silvestre Bello III said on Sunday.
In a Radyo Inquirer 990 AM interview, Bello said he recently met with members of the peace panel, as well as with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, to plan the resumption of the peace talks with the communist group.
“Nag-meeting kami kasama ko ‘yung mga panel members. Nag-usap din kami ni Secretary Dureza na syang peace adviser, at pinlano na namin ang usaping pangkapayapaan,” Bello said.
“Inaayos din namin ‘yung mga issues na dapat pag-usapan at pagkasunduan ng dalawang panig, ‘yung controversial issues na dapat tutukan gaya ng issue sa ceasefire, sa paghinto ng collection ng revolutionary tax,” he added.
Bello said he also talked to Fidel Agcaoili, chief negotiator of the NDFP.
As of now, he said the NDFP was not making any new conditions. Bello said President Rodrigo Duterte’s conditions were also welcomed by the NDFP.
“Alam naman ng ating kabigan na si Fidel kung ano ang intensyon ng ating pangulo na kagaya nila, gusto ng kapayapaan para sa ating bansa. So let’s do it. Wag na natin patagalin pa at nabubwisit na ang ating mga kababayan,” Bello said.
“Kaya nga mag-uusap para mahinto ang putukan. Ika nga, let’s not put the carriage ahead of the horse. So, mahalaga mag-usap kami at hopefully we’d be able to address the root causes of the armed conflict,” he added.
During last Wednesday’s 24th Cabinet meeting of the Duterte government, the President asked Dureza to work on the resumption of peace talks between the government and the NDFP.
He specifically asked that the collection of “revolutionary tax” be stopped by the leftist group.
The President has also set a two-month deadline for the resumption of peace negotiations. /cbb
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