THE government peace panel is confident of scoring “major breakthroughs” in the third round of negotiations with the communist National Democratic Front (NDF) slated this week.
In a press statement to Palace reporters, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said the delegation has prepared several draft documents for the talks, which will be held in Rome, Italy, from January 19 to 25.
These draft documents include those for the comprehensive agreements on socio-economic reforms, on political and constitutional reforms, and on end of hostilities and disposition of forces.
The drafts were supposed to have been submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte during the government panel’s courtesy call at Malacañang Monday night before they left for Rome
“We are all set and ready to engage the NDF in the discussion and all substantive agenda, including supplemental agreements needed to proceed and arrive at a peaceful negotiated political settlement to end the armed conflict in the country,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, head of the government peace panel.
“We are going to do this in the spirit of true reconciliation and genuine quest for just and lasting peace,” he added.
Bello also said the Philippine government is “all set” to sign a supplemental agreement for the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), to include an expanded role of the Joint Monitoring Committee.
With this, Bello called on the NDF “to formalize the unilateral ceasefire with a bilateral ceasefire agreement to give our communities and combatants a more secure environment for the peace process.”