Closing Remarks at the Signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison, National democratic Front Philippines, Negotiating Panel
16 March 1998, The Hague, The Netherlands
The Honorable Speacker Jose de Venecia and other distinguished guests, Chairpersons Jose V. Yap and Luis Jalandoni and members of the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, dear comrades and friends,
I am deeply pleased and greatly honored to serve as principal witness to the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the two short agreements on the security of consultations and private development organizations.
I am thankful to the honorable Speaker for accepting my invitation to serve with me as the principal witness and to discuss with me the crisis situation in the Philippines and what needs to be done in the quest for a just and lasting peace.
I join everyone in congratulating both the GRP and the NDFP negotiating panels for having finalized and signed the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law after a long period of hard work and striving to bridge the gap between their positions.
This document is of great significance and of far-reaching benefit to the Filipino people. It addresses their outcry for justice against the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. It is an inescapable requirement for a just and lasting peace.
In advance, the principals of the negotiating panels have expresssed their mutual satisfaction over the agreement and have congratulated their respective panels. We look forward to the exchange of approvals by the principals in a special ceremony to be held soon in Manila.
Following the success in forging the comprehensive agreement, the negotiating panels can move on to the next heading of the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations, which is on social and economic reforms.
It is clearly proven by the current progress in the peace negotiations that the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is ever willing and able to enter into agreements that respond by a significant measure to the just demands of the Filipino people.
In closing, I wish to thank the GRP and the NDFP negotiating panels for according to Speaker de Venecia and myself the distinct honor of serving as principal witnesses to this historic moment.
Once more, I thank the Speaker for taking precious time from the hectic schedule in his campaign for the presidency in order to be with us today.
By way of helping the further progress of the peace negotiations, the two of us are issuing a joint statement which should save us all from long speeeches.
Electronic edition by Equipo Nizkor, 20aug99
Philippines: Peace Negociations
Published online by Equipo Nizkor & Derechos Human Rights