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NDFP and Duterte peace teams begin informal meet

QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES—The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s negotiating teams expressed optimism at the start of their three-day preliminary talks in Oslo, Norway yesterday, an observer to the meeting said.

Incoming Anakpawis representative Ariel Casilao said both parties are optimistic in resuming the formal talks slated next month after Duterte is sworn into office.    Read more

Progressives to Duterte: Fulfill promise to free political prisoners

PROGRESSIVE GROUPS called on Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte to fulfill his promise to free political prisoners once he assumes the presidency.

In a rally outside Camp Crame on June 10, militant laborers and human rights workers said political prisoners such as Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria must be freed to help in the peace process between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH). Read more

What they said before: GPH and NDFP opening statements at last formal talks in 2011

AS PART of Kodao Productions’ series on the imminent resumption of formal peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the incoming Government of the Philippines (GPH) under President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte, these opening statements by the incumbent GPH and the NDFP at their first and only formal talks in February 18, 2011 are hereby republished.

Duterte-appointed representatives Jesus Dureza, Silvestre Bello III and Hernani Braganza are, at the moment, on their way to Oslo, Norway to meet with the old NDFP panel for preliminary talks before their formal meet sometime in July.

The following speeches were delivered by incumbent Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles for the GPH and Luis Jalandoni for the NDFP, respectively.

While the February 2011 talks resulted in a Joint Statement, there has been no peace achievements made since, however.

In his speech, Jalandoni called for the release of NDFP consultants and staff and the honoring of previous signed agreements.

After the Oslo meet, the GPH under Benigno Aquino has subsequently arrested more NDFP consultants and wanted to set aside signed agreements such as The Hague Joint Declaration (THJD) and the Joint Agreement on Immunity and Safety Guarantees (JASIG).

Deles was reported to have dismissed THJD as a “document of perpetual division.”

The audio recordings were originally published by Bulatlat.com. Kodao Productions recorded the speeches in Oslo, Norway.

PAPP Teresita Q. Deles

NDFP chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni

NDFP and incoming Duterte administration poised for a ceasefire agreement

The negotiating panels of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the incoming Government of the Philippines (GPH) confirmed that an interim mutual ceasefire agreement is on the agenda when both parties hold preliminary talks in Oslo starting June 14.

NDFP negotiating panel chairperson Luis Jalandoni said that their group is now finalizing its draft interim ceasefire agreement with the incoming Rodrigo Duterte government. Read more

Joma to use Philippine passport in planned visit to homeland

JOSE MARIA SISON will use a Philippine passport if his planned return to the Philippines happens under the incoming Rodrigo Duterte government.

Sison said he intends to visit the Philippines as an act of goodwill in July or August if Duterte has already released the more than 500 political prisoners and that the formal talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are going to be resumed.

“I have never lost my Filipino citizenship.  My Philippine passport was merely cancelled in 1988,” Sison said in an online interview.

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Progressives upbeat on Duterte-NDFP peace talks

This is a contributed video of some of the highlights of the Philippine celebration of the 15th anniversary of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) and the launching of Prof. Jose Ma. Sison’s latest book “Building People’s Power” held on May 28, 2016.

The event was upbeat on the prospects of peace talks with the government under incoming president Rodrigo Duterte.  Read more

NDFP to Aquino: Ask Deles, Llamas

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES (NDFP) dared President Benigno Aquino III to ask his peace adviser Teresita Deles and political adviser Ronald Llamas why he did not receive reports on the informal talks between his government and the revolutionary group.

Asked to respond to a Philippine Daily Inquirer article published today that quoted Aquino saying he did not formally receive the reports, NDFP negotiator Fidel Agcaoili said Aquino should ask his advisers about the informal talks that happened in 2012 and not in 2011.
Read more

NDFP wants human rights monitoring committee with GPH revitalized

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES (NDFP) will push for the revitalization of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) for its Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) with the government of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) under the Rodrigo Duterte government.

As the NDFP waits for representatives of president-elect Duterte to visit its international office in Utrecht, The Netherlands, its spokesperson said that they want the JMC to be both revitalized and re-strengthened.

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Veteran negotiator to lead Duterte’s peace panel with Reds

(Photo by Bulatlat.com)

(Photo by Bulatlat.com)

Former justice secretary Silvestre Bello III is “greatly honored” to again be the Philippine government’s chief negotiator with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

While clarifying that he still needs to be formally notified by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Bello said that he is keen on accepting the challenge again to talk peace with the NDFP.

Bello said that the congratulatory messages that he has been receiving since Duterte made the announcement in Davao City this afternoon are still premature.

“I still have to ask our future president the extent of power he will grant the new government negotiating panel,” Bello said.

Critical of the Benigno Aquino government’s peace negotiations style with the NDFP, Bello said he will push for honoring signed agreements between the Manila government and the rebel groups.

“Who would seriously negotiate with us if we fail to honor our commitments?” Bello asked.

Aquino’s peace adviser Teresita Deles called The Hague Joint Declaration (THJD) that laid the parameters of the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Manila government as a “document of perpetual division.”

Deles also taunted the NDFP whenever the latter demanded the release of its peace consultants under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees or Jasig.

Both THJD and Jasig were milestone agreements hammered with Bello as key member of the government panels under former President Fidel Ramos.

“I think President Aquino was only interested in negotiating with Moro Islamic Liberation Front.  He did not have the same vigor in dealing with the NDFP,” Bello said.

Bello also said that he will push for the release of NDFP peace consultants.

“If it can be established that they are involved in the negotiations either as consultants, staff or security personnel, they should be released under the Jasig,” Bello said.

Bello said he is thinking of asking former Commission on Elections commissioner Rene Sarmiento, former Alaminos mayor Hernani Braganza and Atty Sedfrey Candelaria of the Ateneo de Manila University to join him as negotiating panel members.

NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison welcomed Duterte’s reappointment of Bello as chief negotiator.

“I think that Bebot Bello is an excellent choice of the (incoming) President as chief negotiator with the NDFP,” Sison said.

“We know him because we worked with him in producing major agreements, especially the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (Carhrihl),” Sison added.

Sison said that the NDFP welcomes Bello’s statement that all the existing agreements must be respected and the possible release of all the 562 political prisoners who have been imprisoned on false charges of common crimes.

The rebel leader also commended Bello in seeking from the president (Duterte) the widest latitude for the success of the peace negotiations.

Asked to comment on possible panel members Bello mentioned, Sison said that it is up to him to compose his panel.

“He has mentioned highly qualified prospects,” Sison said of Sarmiento, Braganza and Candelaria.

Bello said that he hopes that the root causes of the armed conflict will again be addressed in the negotiations.

“Being able to sign agreements with the NDFP is one thing, but real success would come only when our people’s extreme poverty and the perception that our government is corrupt are eliminated,” Bello said. (Raymund B Villanueva)