21 solons call for resumption of peace talks with NDFP

MANILA Some 21 lawmakers of the House of Representatives have filed a resolution calling for the immediate resumption of the peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The legislators filed House Resolution No. 2065 during the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) on Thursday.

"As representatives of the people, members of the House of Representatives are duty bound to express the sentiments and interests of our constituents for the immediate resumption of the stalled peace talks and for the determined effort to find peaceful and just resolution to the armed conflict between GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and NDFP," the resolution read.

The resolution stated that the standdown agreement signed on June 8 binds the military, the police, and the New People's Army (NPA) from hostilities as "goodwill and confidencebuilding measures" for the supposed resumption of the fifth round of formal peace talks set to be held last June 2830.

It also noted that the "standdown shall be declared and announced simultaneously by both Parties one week before the agreed date of resumption of the formal talks."

Standdown was defined as a temporary cessation of hostilities in which the contending armed units and personnel of the Parties stay where they are ('as is where is'), take an active defense mode, and shall not commit any offensive action or operation against combatants and civilians."

The lawmakers said the stalled fifth round of peace talks seeks to forge an Interim Peace Agreement, which contains key provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on SocioEconomic Reforms (CASER), and general amnesty of political prisoners, among others.

"The StandDown Agreement and the agenda to forge an Interim Peace Agreement reflects the aspirations of the Filipino to advance the peace process that will address the root cause of the armed conflict and put an end to the armed hostilities," the resolution said.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza earlier announced the postponement of the resumption of formal peace talks with the communist rebels as the government conducts public consultations.

President Rodrigo Duterte will soon issue an executive order for localized peace talks with communist rebels.

Lawmakers who led the filing of the resolution include members of the Makabayan bloc composed of Gabriela Reps. Arlene Brosas and Emmi de Jesus, ACT Teacher Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency