Panels announce six agreements on 4th day of talks

OSLO, Norway—The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panels have already agreed on six major issues barely into the fourth day of their scheduled five-day talks.

Moving with surprising dispatch, both panels already initialled their joint drafts of the affirmation of previously signed agreements, reconstitution of NDFP’s list of Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG)-protected personnel, acceleration of the peace negotiations, the mode of interim ceasefire, general amnesty of NDFP-listed political detainees, and the convening of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

All six agreements are currently being combined and will be issued as a Joint Statement at the closing ceremony scheduled at eleven o’clock in the morning of Friday, August 26.

Natutuwa kami sa naging resulta ng pag-uusap ngayon.  Itong anim na punto ay magandang produkto na ng pag-uusap. At mahusay ang atmosphereVery friendly at cordial,” NDFP chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni said.

“It turned out that both panels did not have many differences in opinion, so we reached an early consensus,” GRP negotiating panel chairperson Silvestre Bello III for his part said.

Bello said they will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the issuance of a general amnesty to all political detainees included in the list submitted by the NDFP.

Both panels have also agreed to hold their next round of formal talks in the second week of October in this city. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Inday Espina-Varona

6 hrs ·

With the good news from Oslo —
Just got this: POWs Released
Statement from Ejp Exodusforjusticeandpeace
Statement on the Release of Prisoners of War
Today, the Exodus for Justice and Peace together with Senator Manny Pacquiao, Congressman Ruwel Peter Gonzaga from Compostela Valley, Saranggani Province Board member Atty. Cyril Yap, Davao City Councilor Leah Librado, along with lawyers and members of the religious community facilitated the release of the two Prisoners of War: Chief Inspector Arnold Olgachen, Chief of Police of Governor Generoso Municipal Station of Davao Oriental, and PNP officer PO1 Michael B. Grande, Banaybanay Municipal Station, Davao Oriental.
For many years, the Exodus for Justice and Peace have mediated and facilitated the release of captured soldiers and police from the revolutionary movement. In these events, we commend those who stood as peace advocates and third party facilitators for their safe release. This is a manifestation of our efforts for peace and confidence to look for just solutions between the parties in conflict.
The release of these two police officers coincides with the closing of the peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front in Oslo, Norway. These two events make this day more significant. The road to peace to address the roots of the conflict is again underway.
The EJP calls for all people here and throughout the country to support the peace talks and take steps by both parties to open the lines of dialogue to address the roots of conflict. We are daunted by reports that the AFP continues to launch operations and so-called “peace and development” activities in the countryside despite the ceasefire declaration.

There have been reports of military harassment toward civilians, food blockades and encampment in communities that violate the ceasefire and human rights.
We continue to urge the people to take part in ensuring the peace talks stays its course and make both parties comply with their ceasefires. We urge that the Oplan Bayanihan and such counter-insurgency programs be stopped, for only thorough socio-political reforms can the root cause of the armed conflict be fully and satisfactorily addressed, and not through military action.
Again, we remind the public that may these steps continue to build confidence towards addressing the substantive issues of the peace talks. We hope that amnesty will be granted by tge Congress to around 500 political prisoners all over the country.
Let us not stop relying upon mass actions and concerted calls to enact socio-economic reforms that will finally address the woes of our brothers and sisters; from landlessness, unemployment, poor social services, and lack of basic industries.
May we work on these present gains to push for genuine, lasting, and just peace.###
Rev. Jurie Jaime
Exodus for Justice and Peace