GPH, NDF agree to work on truce, release of detainees covered by JASIG
Manila, Jan. 19 – The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) have agreed to work for a seven-day truce and the release of detained NDF consultants who are covered by security guarantees while formal peace talks have been set to resume next month.
In a joint communiqué issued yesterday at the end of their preliminary negotiations in Oslo, Norway, the negotiating panels announced that they will recommend to their respective principals ceasefire from February 15 to 21 as they restart formal negotiations on the said dates under the auspices of the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG).
The GPH panel agreed to work for the speedy release of NDF consultants and other personalities who are protected by the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) in the spirit of goodwill.
Further, both panels stated that the agenda for the February formal talks will include reaffirmation of all signed agreements; reconvening of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL); JASIG issues; and confidence-building measures, among others.
In a statement released by the GPH panel last night, both parties hope to complete the formal negotiations within 18 months as they “focus on the remaining substantive agenda on socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and end of hostilities and disposition of forces.”
“To avoid unwarranted disruptions of the negotiations, the parties also established sidetable mechanisms to review and address procedural and non-substantive issues such as JASIG implementation, the release of alleged political prisoners (APOs), and confidence-building and goodwill measures,” they also stated.
“Peace negotiations is an essential component of the government’s comprehensive peace process aimed at reaching a final negotiated political settlement of the armed conflict with the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines/NPA (New People’s Army)/NDF,” the GPH panel added.
Alexander A. Padilla led the GPH panel while Luis G. Jalandoni headed the NDF panel in the preliminary talks held on January 14 to 18 under the facilitation of the RNG represented by Ambassador Ture Lundh.
Deputy Director General Tomas Stangeland graced the opening of the talks and affirmed the continuing commitment of the RNG in performing its role as Third Party Facilitator in the GPH-NDF peace negotiations.#