communists lift condition on signing truce
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Communists lift condition on signing truce

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Arab Today, arab today Communists lift condition on signing truce

Members of the New People's Army communist rebels march with firearms at their guerrilla encampment tucked in the Sierra Madre mountains southeast of Manila, Philippines.
Manila - Arab Today

 The Philippine government said the National Democratic Front (NDF) had waived an earlier precondition demanding the release of more than a hundred political prisoners before signing a bilateral ceasefire.

In a statement released on Monday, Silvestre Bello III, government chief negotiator, said that as per his recent talks with NDF adviser Luis Jalandoni, the communist-led dissident umbrella group has agreed to sign a peace accord even before the release of political prisoners.

“The willingness of the NDF to sign the bilateral ceasefire agreement is indeed a welcome development as this bodes well to a positive atmosphere when we meet again for the third round of talks in January,” Bello said.

On December 6, Bello quoted President Rodrigo Duterte as saying the latter will not order further release of detained communists unless the insurgents sign a truce agreement with the government.

Although the both sides have been observing a pause in hostilities since August, the unilateral ceasefire declared by both sides could break at any time

The government and the insurgents have been clashing over the past 47 years and Duterte, upon assuming the presidency in July this year, said one of his priority tasks is to forge a ceasefire with the rebels under the NDF umbrella.

Duterte, as a confidence-building gesture, had earlier ordered the release of more than a dozen insurgent leaders including Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, the couple who were respectively the chairman and secretary general of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP).

According to Bello, a bilateral ceasefire “would not only benefit the combatants except the people who are caught in the crossfire of this armed conflict”.

“Rest assured that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte remains committed to the release of a substantial number of political prisoners. The president has already shown time and again that he delivers on his word,” Bello said.

The peace process by the government with the NDF and CPP as well as its guerrilla force, the New Peoples Army (NPA), had been on and off over the past several years.

Initial talks for an end to the insurgent conflict and social and political reforms started following the ouster of the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr in 1986. Three decades later, peace still remains elusive.

Under the Duterte administration, the government had agreed to sincerely listen to the demands of rebels and give initial concessions such as the release of elderly prisoners and imprisoned senior negotiators.

According to government peace panel members Rene Sarmiento and Angela Librado-Trinidad the government is making earnest efforts to facilitate the amnesty proclamation and the release of detained communist rebels

source : gulfnews

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