July 11, 2011
After hitting a snag on the JASIG issue, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan visited National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) headquarters in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on July 7, 2011 in the hope that the kinks that have led to the postponement of the talks could be ironed out and that the peace talks could proceed.
“Nagkaroon ng aberya. We took the initiative to go there after conferring with our government representatives,” said Pangilinan.
Pangilinan presented his proposals for solving socio-economic and political problems to NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni and NDFP Chief Political Consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison. The NDFP said in a statement that they will seriously study Pangilinan’s proposal. Jalandoni agreed with Pangilinan that there is urgent need for peace negotiations to move forward as the Philippines face mounting problems and the Filipino people are crying out louder now for genuine reforms to be instituted under the leadership PNoy.
“No progressive nation became prosperous while facing armed conflict. The peace initiatives during the Ramos presidency created a window of opportunity for development in Mindanao. We would not have developed cities such as General Santos, Cagayan De Oro, and Davao City if it weren’t for this ceasefire agreement.”
Pangilinan stated that his relationship with the NDF has been decades long, saying he was a student activist during the Marcos dictatorship and thus he ‘fully understands the causes they are fighting for.’
Started in 1969, the Communist Party of the Philippines-NDF-NPA insurgency is considered as one of the longest running insurgencies in existence.
“Personally I want my children to see peace in our country happen in our lifetime. It took the Irish Republican Army (IRA) 90 years from the time of its creation to agree to peaceful means of resolving the armed conflict in Northern Ireland. We should be able to follow their lead and forge our own historic date of peace and unity sometime in the near future.”
“The government has been talking peace with the NDF since the restoration of democracy in 1986. That’s 25 years of on and off peace negotiations. Surely we can do better than this? If this is all we can offer, then it’s a shame. Our efforts thus and the results we have achieved are unacceptable. We deserve more. Our people, our children, deserve better, and the Aquino government has the unique and golden opportunity to finally make things right and forge a comprehensive peace settlement with the CPP-NPA-NDF.”