Joint Press Statement on the Signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

16 March 1998, The Hague, The Netherlands

The Negotiating Panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) signed the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in a solemn ceremony on 16 March 1998 in The Hague, The Netherlands.

This agreement is in fulfillment of the first of four headings in the substantive agenda of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. It is of historic significance and of far-reaching benefit to the Filipino people. It drives the peace process forward.

The two panels also signed two short agreements. The first one is on additional implementing rules of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) pertaining to the security of personnel and consultations in the furtherance of the peace negotiations. The second one is in support for private development organizations and institutes.

They exchanged their respective drafts of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economy Reforms, thus paving the way for opening the negotiations on the second heading of the substantive agenda.

In a formal meeting before the signing ceremony, the negotianting panels exchanged proposals and made important agreements.

The GRP negotiating panel included Rep. Jose V. Yap as acting chairperson, Justice Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Rene Sarmiento as members.

The NDFP negotiating panel included Luis Jalandoni as chairperson and Fidel V. Agcaoili and Coni Ledesma as members.

Speaker Jose de Venecia and NDFP chief political consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison served as principal witnesses at the signing ceremony and issued a joint statement.

The other witness on the GRP side was GRP panel executive director Ma. Carla Munsayac and on the NDFP side, were NDFP Senior Adviser Antonio Zumel and NDFP general counsel Romeo T. Capulong.

At the signing ceremony, the undersigned gave their respective introductory remarks and Speaker Jose de Venecia and Prof. Jose Maria Sison gave their respective closing remarks.

  • Rep. Jose V. Yap, Acting Chairperson, GRP Negotiating Panel
  • Luis G. Jalandoni, Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Electronic Edition by Equipo Nizkor, 20aug99

Philippines: Peace Negociations

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