rebels and the Philippine government have agreed to sign an agreement to upgrade the unilateral ceasefire currently in place to “a joint and permanent ceasefire.”
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, concurrent government peace panel chair, said the two sides hope to meet again on October 26 for the signing of the agreement.
Bello said they will request the NDF and their third party facilitator, The Royal Norwegian Government, to reset the meeting “to the last week of November or the first week of December.”
“There are certain commitments that we gave the NDF panel, which we are afraid we cannot comply with for the moment. So, we have to ask for more time,” he said, adding that he is “not at liberty to reveal” these commitments at the moment.
Bello also reported that they have submitted the proposed General Amnesty Proclamation, and it is currently being studied by the Department of Justice, the Office of the Solicitor-General, and the Office of the Executive Secretary.
“The General Amnesty Proclamation may be signed or approved by the President any time after the signing of the final peace agreement,” he said.
But, he maintained, this proclamation is not a prerequisite for the NDF to sign the bilateral ceasefire.
“The signing of the ceasefire is not tied to the General Amnesty Proclamation,” he said.