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Statement of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles on NDFP’s proposal to defer peace talks and demand to release consultants

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Following is the statement of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles regarding the NDFP’s proposal to defer peace talks and demand to release consultants:

"The statements made by National Democratic Front of the Philippines' (NDFP) chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni and NDF panel member Fidel Agcaoili are most unfortunate.

I would like to refer to the statements made in January of this year, of government chief negotiator Alexander Padilla, after the preliminary negotiations between the government and the NDFP. I quote negotiator Padilla, who said in his statement that “the government agreed to work, on best effort basis, for the release of NDFP consultants and personalities who are qualified under the JASIG so they may meaningfully participate in the negotiations."
"The resumption of the formal negotiations with the NDFP will 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."

“In line with this, the Government reiterates its sincerity and commitment to this process. In fact, in February of this year, before the start of the formal talks in Oslo, Norway, we facilitated provision of travel documents for NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio Economic Reform (RWC-SER) members Rafael Baylosis and Randall Echanis and NDFP consultant Angelina Bisuna Ipong. Likewise, the GPH took effective remedies to ensure the participation in the February talks of NDFP consultants Vicente Ladlad and Elizabeth Principe.

“As far as I know, there has not been any changes on the agreements between the government and the NDFP. Preparations for the substantive agenda are moving forward. The Panel is fully aware of the developments brought about by the statements issued by Jalandoni and Agcaoili. I am confident that the Panel will manage this issue well and shall release its own official statement soon.

“I am also confident that given the opportunity, the mechanisms set-up by both Parties to address the non-substantive issues will work towards the resolution of this issue. We enjoin the NDFP to continue having faith in this mechanism. The government remains committed to stay the course and discuss whatever it takes to bring a just and lasting peace for the country." (PNA/PIA9-BST)




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