Gov't is sincere in resuming peace talks with NDF — Ermita

August 12, 2009 8:25 am 

MANILA, Aug. 12 — Malacanang advised on Wednesday the National Democratic Front (PNDF) negotiating panel to refrain from issuing statements that would derail the resumption of the peace talks between the government and the communist rebels.

According to Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, the statement of NDF chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni accusing the government of "insincerity in the peace talks" would not help achieve lasting peace.

In his weekly media briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacanang, Ermita stressed that the government is sincere in the resumption of peace talks with the communist rebels.

He said the request of the NDF to free their two high- profile members is now being studied by both panels on its legal concerns.

He also said that the NDF should also be positive in the resumption of the peace negotiations and should be negative in accusing the government of being insincere.

”I wish they will not make that kind of statements,” Ermita stressed.

Meanwhile, Presidential Peace Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Avelino Razon Jr. expressed dismay over the accusations of the NDF that the government is not sincere in pushing the peace talks.

According to Razon, the GRP is sincerely interested in giving the formal peace talks a chance by doing its best in accommodating the needs of the NDF under what is legally and constitutionally legitimate.

“However, as a responsible government, we must balance our people’s various interests. Going to the table shall be for peace and not merely for talks. The sudden pessimism of the NDF over the scheduled talks is not very encouraging, as negotiations require a determination to be positive and to extend mutual understanding and cooperation,” Razon pointed out.

He added: "While we all would like to talk peace under the most ideal circumstances, experience tells us there will always be challenges.

”And we hope the NDF stays focused together with the GRP in overcoming the pragmatic parameters within which peace must be worked out. Following the suggestion of NDF consultant Jose Maria Sison to stay felicitous in our language, we urge the NDF to work out our differences through direct communications or through the Norwegian mediator, in place of other media where we might only dampen the people’s hopes for peace instead of inspire a collaborative approach to conflict,” Razon added. (PNA)

scs/rudyma

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