NDFP negotiators to leave for Europe for back-channel talks with the GRP

NATIONAL Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel member Benito Tiamzon and consultants Wilma Austria Tiamzon and Vicente Ladlad will soon leave for Europe to participate in the ongoing backchannel talks with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

In a speech at the National Defense College earlier today, Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also announced Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza has left for Europe last night to lead the GRP delegation in the talks for the possible resumption of formal peace negotiations between the parties.

“Yesterday, Secretary Dureza left for Europe again. And, last night, we allowed the departure of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon and Mr. Ladlad to do some back-channelling,” Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana said the government is listening to the public clamor for the resumption of the peace negotiations.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced last Tuesday informal talks are being held to resume the formal negotiations he suspended last month.

“Hang on…Do not spoil.  I must admit there’s a back-channelling,” Duterte told reporters in a chance interview.

NDFP Negotiating Panel chairperson Fidel Agcaoili for his part said the six government troopers captured by the New People’s Army will soon be freed as soon as the GRP orders the suspension of military and police operations in areas where the releases are to be held.

Agcaoili said the release of captured GRP soldiers is proof of NDFP’s good faith in the ongoing back-channel negotiations. (Report and photo by Raymund B. Villanueva)