Kiko lauds declaration of 18-day ceasefire, but says this is only first step to renewed talks

December 15, 2011

Press Release
December 15, 2011

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Chair of the Senate Committee on Social Justice and Rural Development, today lauds President Aquino’s declaration of holiday truce with the CPP-NPA.

“This gesture will help build confidence among the CPP-NPA ranks on the sincerity of the Aquino government in its commitment to achieving lasting peace.”

The government says that the ceasefire will allow members of the communist movement to spend the holidays with their loved ones.

“We hope that the 18-day truce will serve as a period of deep reflection for both parties,” Pangilinan says. “Beyond that, we hope that we can see within our lifetime the day when all groups—CPP-NPA, the MILF, and the NDF—will end their respective armed struggles and help the government in rebuilding the country.”

“This truce is a good first step, but let’s not end here. Let’s keep lines of communication open and keep on engaging in dialogue. We need to build confidence in our ability to keep commitments and keep the peace. We will also need to ensure that the countryside will be able to sustain former rebels by modernizing agriculture and making it viable.”

“Only by solving poverty can we truly achieve peace. Let’s not lose sight of that end objective,” the lawmaker says.