September 7, 2011
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who in July had met with the National Democratic Front representatives Jose Ma. Sison and Luis Jalandoni to hear their proposal on behalf of the Philippine government, has expressed his full support for the resumption of peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front, saying it’s time to finally “silence the guns of war.”
“We laud the decision of both the government and the National Democratic Front to agree to resume the peace talks,” Pangilinan says. “If there is a time to see major headway for the cause of peace, now is the time to do it.”
“The communist insurgency has been around for over forty years. Negotiations, on the other hand, have been going on for twenty five years. It’s time to fast track the negotiations and silence the guns of war for all time,” the lawmaker adds.
“We hope that the hawks on both sides will be placed at bay and will allow the doves to work out an honorable peace. Thousands on both sides have lost their lives and for them to not have died in vain, we must strive to make their deaths meaningful by forging a peace agreement that will ensure that such an agreement will usher in peace and genuine progress for our nation especially for the poor and the marginalized.”
Pangilinan, who is also Chair of the Senate Committee on Social Justice and Rural Development, points out, “The roots of the insurgency is poverty and injustice. A peace agreement crafted to address these basic ills should be the way forward.”
The senator reiterated his earlier statements, saying that only peace can pave the way for true progress, citing economic gains in cities such as Davao City, Cagayan de Oro, and General Santos.