Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Resumption of peace talks

On July 7, Thursday, we visited National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) headquarters in Utrecht, the Netherlands in the hope that the kinks that have led to the postponement of the talks could be ironed out and that the peace talks could proceed.

Nagkaroon ng aberya so we took the initiative to go there after conferring with our government representatives and presented our proposals for solving socio-economic and political problems to NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni and NDFP Chief Political Consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison.

No progressive nation became prosperous while facing armed conflict. The peace initiatives during the Ramos presidency created a window of opportunity for development in Mindanao. We would not have developed cities such as General Santos, Cagayan De Oro, and Davao City if it weren’t for this ceasefire agreement.

My relationship with the NDF has been decades long because I was a student activist during the Marcos dictatorship and thus ‘fully understands the causes they are fighting for.’

Started in 1969, the Communist Party of the Philippines-NDF-NPA insurgency is considered as one of the longest running insurgencies in existence.

Personally I want my children to see peace in our country happen in our lifetime. It took the Irish Republican Army (IRA) 90 years from the time of its creation to agree to peaceful means of resolving the armed conflict in Northern Ireland. We should be able to follow their lead and forge our own historic date of peace and unity sometime in the near future.

The government has been talking peace with the NDF since the restoration of democracy in 1986. That’s 25 years of on and off peace negotiations. Surely we can do better than this? If this is all we can offer, then it’s a shame. Our efforts thus and the results we have achieved are unacceptable. We deserve more. Our people, our children, deserve better, and the Aquino government has the unique and golden opportunity to finally make things right and forge a comprehensive peace settlement with the CPP-NPA-NDF.

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