GRP to ask NDFP for peace talks postponement

THE GOVERNMENT peace panel has decided to postpone the resumption of its formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) anew to August 20 to 27.

Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) chief peace negotiator and Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III told Kodao Productions this morning that they will first have to secure the release of NDFP negotiators who are still detained.

Bello said that they still have to formally inform the NDFP of the adjustment.

Both panels originally scheduled the talks on the third week of this month but later entertained the possibility of rescheduling the formal negotiations on the last week of July or second week of August for the GRP to effect the release of more than 20 Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG)-protected NDFP consultants and staff.

The GRP through its peace panel member Hernani Braganza also said that they want the formal talks to be held after President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address on July 25.

The NDFP through its chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison earlier said they are willing to give the GRP time to release NDFP consultants Allan Jazmines, Benito Tiamzon, Wilma Austria and others JASIG-protected consultants.

Asked earlier about the possibility of another postponement, Sison told Kodao that it is better to ask the GRP on the final dates. (Raymund B. Villanueva)