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Duterte encouraged anew to continue talks with NDFP

MANILA, Philippines – BAYAN again urges the Duterte government to return to the negotiating table and continue with the peace talks with the NDFP, especially after the CPP-NPA reiterated its willingness to discuss a bilateral ceasefire agreement.
Prior to Duterte’s cancellation of the talks and the AFP’s all-out war declaration, a meeting between the GRP and NDFP was already scheduled on February 22-25, specifically to discuss a bilateral ceasefire agreement.
The Duterte government is encourage to reciprocate the CPP-NPA’s latest pronouncements and continue with the scheduled meeting. The GRP is also called on to effect the release of all political prisoners as a matter of justice and as a move that can pave the way for a bilateral ceasefire. BAYAN also reiterates the people’s just demand that any ceasefire agreement must mean the pullout of AFP operating troops in civilian communities and an end to the killings and arbitrary arrests of activists.
BAYAN declares its full support for the three progressive cabinet officials – Judy Taguiwalo, Rafael Mariano and Liza Maza – who are set to meet with the President today. We look forward to the positive outcome of their meeting. It is in the best interest of the Filipino people that peace talks proceed, and that important agreements on socioeconomic, political and constitutional reforms are forged. Only then can a lasting solution to the armed conflict be achieved.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.