NOORDWIJK, The Netherlands–The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) signed the Agreement on an Interim Joint Ceasefire yesterday after four days of intense formal and informal negotiations.
The parties said the document aims to encourage the forging of a more stable and more comprehensive joint ceasefire agreement and to provide a more enabling environment for the earlier signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).
They said the interim joint ceasefire shall be signed simultaneous to, or immediately after, the signing of the CASER, which is expected to be finished within the year and after ground rules and guidelines are forged by their respective ceasefire committees.
The prospective ceasefire’s guidelines and ground rules shall govern the presence of armed units and elements of both parties in local communities and the creation of buffer zones.
The ground rules would also include agreements on what constitutes prohibited, hostile and provocative acts by armed groups of either party.
The guidelines shall also allow for a ceasefire monitoring and verification mechanism to oversee the prospective ceasefire’s implementation and to handle complaints of violations.
Watch NDFP’s ceasefire committee head Wilma Austria Tiamzon explain the agreement on interim joint ceasefire as well as the advancement on CASER negotiations. # (Interview and video by Jola Diones-Mamangun / Text by Raymund B. Villanueva / Featured photo by Nwel Saturay)