Senator Kiko Pangilinan welcomes the release of Mayor and BJMP guards; urges panels to declare ceasefire and resume talks

October 10, 2011

Press Statement
October 11,2011

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan welcomes the release of Surigao Mayor Henry Dano and his two military aides and the four jail guards by the New People’s Army.

“This release increases our confidence in the peace process. In the final analysis, we all want lasting peace to become a reality in our country,” Pangilinan says. “Now is the time for both panels to sit down and declare a truce and resume peace talks.”

Pangilinan, who went to Utrecht in July 2011 and met with NDFP’s Negotiating Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni and NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison, says a ceasefire is necessary to the peace talks as both sides ‘cannot hope to talk peace while relentless attacks and clashes repeatedly occur.’

“Talking peace is not at all possible when we are shooting at one another. A ceasefire is a must.”

“We all look forward to the day when we finally have lasting peace. We must continue to strive for it and achieve it in our lifetime.”

“As a former student activist during the Marcos dictatorship, I am well aware of the cause the NDFP espouses. When the roots of armed conflict are addressed by a government committed to genuine change then the path to peace must be given a chance to succeed.”

“We urge the GPH and the NDF to immediately declare a ceasefire as a means to give way to formal talks. A new generation of Filipinos deserves to see lasting peace achieved in our lifetime. We look to the future wherein the guns of war are silenced forever. The peace process must pave the way for economic growth and development in the rural areas. Only when we succeed in developing our rural areas–creating gainful employment for our people in the countryside in an atmosphere of unity and peace–can we truly progress as a nation.”