July 11, 2011
Manila – Senator Francis Pangilinan on Thursday urged the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to resume formal peace talks with the Government of the Philippines (GPH).
Pangilinan came on his account as a senate official of the Philippine government to communist left’s information office in Utrecht, The Netherlands to meet with NDFP panel chair Luis Jalandoni and NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison who warmly welcomed him.
The senator, who serves as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food and the Senate Committee on Social Justice and Rural Development, pushed for the peace process to carry on between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and NDFP.
According to a statement released by his office, Pangilinan presented to the NDFP officials his proposals for “solving socio-economic and political problems and his reasons why there is hope for the Philippines.”
“Jalandoni and Pangilinan agreed that there is urgent need for the peace negotiations to move forward in the face of the serious problems of the Philippines and in response to the desire of the Filipino people to address such problems with comprehensive agreements on basic social, economic and political reforms,” the statement also said.
Further, both agreed on the need for the negotiating panels to continue their formal talks soon, and for the Reciprocal Working Committees on Socio-Economic Reforms and for the Working Groups on Political and Constitutional Reforms to continue with their tasks on the negotiating table. More importantly, they agreed on the importance of moving forward in addressing serious problems of the nation through the comprehensive agreements on these reforms.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles lauded Pangilinan for his initiative to urge both parties to go back to the negotiating table.
“We strongly hope that Senator Pangilinan’s efforts to encourage peace and goodwill will bear fruits in the near future – not just in terms of the peace talks with the NDFP but also in inspiring more Filipinos to become involved in the peace creation in the country,” she stated.
“Today, more than ever, Filipinos need to contribute to peace constituency building that would inspire those on the table to focus on the task that is given to them, which is to pursue a peace agreement with finality and fruition,” Deles said. “A peace agreement can only mark the start of many great things to come such as security, development, employment and overall, an entire nation’s progress. In order for us to win the peace, we need more Filipinos just like Senator Pangilinan.”
Pangilinan is set to discuss the issues raised by NDFP with the GPH panel, including NDFP’s demand on the release of its 17 political prisoners. The senator expressed his high hopes for the Philippines while Jalandoni gave his assurance that the NDFP officials will take into consideration the senator’s proposals.
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