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GRP welcomes NDFP in fight vs. Maute, terror groups

The government peace panel lauded the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in its commitment to fight against terrorist groups in the country.

In a statement on Sunday, GRP peace panel chairperson Silvestre Bello III said the offer of the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines is a positive development for a ceasefire agreement within the specific areas of cooperation to combat terrorism.

He said the bilateral teams of the GRP and the NDFP will convene immediately to discuss the terms of the ceasefire agreement.

"The Negotiating Panel of the Philippine government welcomes the latest statement issued by our counterpart from the NDF reiterating their commitment to join the fight against the Maute group, the Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups in the Philippines," Bello said.

He added: "We anticipate the immediate signing of the ceasefire agreement, which shall bind both parties pending the issuance of ceasefire declarations that are unilateral but simultaneous and reciprocal, subject to the basic guidelines outlines in the CARHRIHL and under a mechanism implemented by an interim joint ceasefire committee and its local liaison officers."

Bello's statement came days after the NDFP issued its call to the GRP to resume the stalled fifth round of the formal talks.

"The GRP and NDFP must act in consonance with the Filipino people's clamor for peace negotiations and their demand for social, economic and political reforms to address the roots of the armed conflict and lay the basis for a just and lasting peace. The GRP and NDFP must stand together to oppose and fight terrorism, terrorist groups and acts of terrorism," the NDFP said in a statement on June 1.

Fidel Agcaoili, chair of the NDFP panel said Maute and ASG are terrorist groups "linked to local, affiliated with ISIS and supported by US-CIA and other foreign entities."

Agcaoili said the government and the NDFP's coordination against terrorism "must be appropriate and proportional to the degree of danger and threat and/or harm by the terrorist group concerned in Marawi City."

"Upon the success of the counter-terrorist measures, these must cease to allow normalcy and full respect for human rights as soon as possible," he said.

Agcaoili, in a Facebook interview with Davao Today on Friday, said the two Parties can also issue unilateral but simultaneous and reciprocal ceasefire declarations to cover more areas.

"These are proposals which the GRP can consider in the fight against terrorism," he said.

Agcaoili added that by coming back to the negotiating table the Parties will not waste any more time by meeting through its bilateral teams to ensure the acceleration of the peace negotiations.

"In this connection, all panelists, legal and political consultants and other personnel in the peace negotiations must be allowed to return to the Philippines and subsequently attend the fifth round of formal talks," he said.

[Source: By Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano, Davao Today, Davao City, 05Jun17]

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small logoThis document has been published on 12Jun17 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.