Pursue Peace Negotiations with Communist Rebels, Solons Urge Gov't

Manila Bulletin, December 30, 2014 | Go to article overview

Pursue Peace Negotiations with Communist Rebels, Solons Urge Gov't


Lawmakers called on the Aquino government yesterday to continuously negotiate with the communist rebels amid the Communist Party of the Philippines' (CPP) declaration that the scheduled peace talks in mid-January would not reach a political settlement. Recognizing that there are many factions in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. urged the government to ignore the other anti-peace factions and push through with its negotiations with NDFP chief political consultant Jose Ma. Sison to once and for all end the decades-old insurgency problem in the country. "There are many factions. Some are just plain bandits and extortionists to whom even the last communist countries-Cuba, China and Vietnam could be considered reactionary. The peace talks in mid-January should go ahead, even if Joma is just one faction," he said in an interview. In an editorial recently published on its website (www.philippinerevolution.net), the CPP said it is not expecting that peace negotiations would lead to comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political problems as bases for a just and lasting peace. In a separate interview, MAGDALO partylist Rep. Francisco Ashley Acedillo said the division within the NDFP could be a stumbling block in the government's peace efforts, but it should not stop the two parties in forging a peace deal. "Joma Sison, unfortunately, cannot speak for the entire CPP-NPA-NDF anymore. Many of the armed elements on the ground here in the Philippines listen to other leaders," he said. "But, talking to Joma and that segment of the left willing to negotiate is not entirely fruitless, so the government must still keep the peace table open for those willing to talk peace," he stressed. …

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