WITH the recent signing of the Agreement on an Interim Joint Ceasefire (AIJC), there’s now a glimmer hope of finally ending the 48-year-old communist insurgency in the country.
Seen to lead to a comprehensive settlement of the problem, the AIJC was signed by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF).
Despite the historic agreement, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza, a former newspaperman, was quick to explain that there is no ceasefire yet.
Dureza described the AIJC, which was signed in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, as just an agreement to work for a permanent ceasefire.
It was inked by Dureza, a Mindanaoan like President Duterte, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and founding Communist Party of the Philippines Chair Jose Ma. Sison.
NDF Peace Panel Chairman Fidel Agcaoili admitted that the AIJC is merely an agreement to agree on the guidelines that will lead to the full implementation of the ceasefire.
For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the interim joint ceasefire agreement will take effect once the guidelines and ground rules are approved.
That’s the reason why we cannot overemphasize the need for both sides to hasten the approval of said guidelines and ground rules.
“The peace process, while seemingly slow, highlights the maturing social and political sense of the Filipino. Together, let us build communities that are just and peaceful,” said Abella.
We, thus, throw our full support behind the peace negotiations and urge both parties -- GRP and NDF -- to approach the talks with an open mind.