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Peace talks resuming after breakdown

PEACE talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (NDF-CPP-NPA) broke down early last February over a demand of the NDF-CPP-NPA for the release of some 400 political prisoners.

THE Philippine government’s peace panel in the ongoing talks with the National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (NDF-CPP-NPA) said last Tuesday that it was “distressed and extremely disturbed” by the recent attacks mounted by the NPA in various parts of the country.

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The National Democratic Front (NDF) peace panel, disgruntled over what it alleged as unfulfilled promises by the government, has given the go-signal for its revolutionary forces to “withdraw from the unilateral ceasefire,” which the communist group has been enforcing since August.

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Peace negotiations between the Philippine government and National Democratic Front encountered rough waters Friday, as both parties tried to vigorously advance their conflicting stands on the release of political prisoners, a permanent general ceasefire, and the adoption of social and economic reforms.

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Lines were drawn right at the start of the second round of the peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front and the Philippine Government Thursday night, with the communist group asking for the immediate release of 409 political prisoners and the latter seeking a joint and lasting ceasefire agreement.

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The National Democratic Front announced Wednesday that it has accepted the resignation of Luis Jalandoni as chairman of its peace panel, replacing him with vice chairman Fidel Agcaoili just hours ahead of the start of the second round of peace negotiations here.

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