The possible meeting between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) the Government of the Republic of the Philippines is up to President Rodrigo Duterte, the Left’s chief negotiator Fidel Agcaoili said.
Agcaoili said they welcome the opportunity to meet with Duterte “unless he does not want to or his military is against it.”
In a speech in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan Saturday, Duterte said he is thinking of meeting with the NDFP negotiators.
“I called for a cluster meeting including the military. ‘So what do you think?’ They said, ‘Maybe. Perhaps maybe.’ It’s not a very big margin there, but ‘maybe,’” Duterte said.
Agcaoli said in a statement that he and fellow NDFP Negotiating Panel member Coni Ledesma have a scheduled trip to the Philippines in connection with their work as members of the NDFP component in the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
The NDFP and the GRP has a joint secretariat office in Quezon City where a total of 6,898 human rights violations complaints have been filed since June 2004 to March 2018.
The NDFP said 4,886 complaints have been received against GRP forces while 2,012 have been filed against the NDFP.
Agcaoili however earlier said majority of their complaints against their forces were nuisance complaints manufactured and filed by GRP agencies.
Agcaoili said they would be accompanied by NDFP Negotiating Panel senior adviser Luis Jalandoni.
Their trip would also include a meeting with the new Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Bjørn Jahnsen, he added.
Agcaoili gave no dates on their arrival and their possible meeting with Duterte.
Duterte has cancelled the peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP since November last year. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)