The Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) welcomes the recent announcements made by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) that the GRP-NDFP formal peace talks will resume next month, August 2009.
The PEPP commends the negotiating panels of the two parties, as well as the third party facilitator, the Royal Norwegian Government, for successfully resolving the problems and removing the obstacles that stood in the way of the formal talks for the last five years.
We look forward to the two parties resuming in earnest the negotiations on Social and Economic Reforms. The urgency and importance of crafting a comprehensive agreement on this substantive agenda cannot be overemphasized, especially in the light of the current global and local financial and economic crisis resulting in increasing poverty and hardships for our people. We urge the two parties to negotiate these reforms that would address the roots of the armed conflict with the national interest and the people’s welfare foremost in mind.
We look forward to the reconvening of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), along with the resumption of formal talks. The JMC is mandated to monitor the implementation of the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). We call on the JMC to promptly and speedily act on the numerous complaints of human rights violations in connection with the armed conflict already filed with and received by the Joint Secretariat of the JMC.
We reiterate our resolve to continue supporting the negotiations as part of our people’s quest for a just and enduring peace. We shall engage our churches and constituencies and mobilize our organizations in the discourse on the roots of the armed conflict and on the necessary measures to resolve these roots. In particular, we shall contribute to
the dissemination and implementation of the CARHRIHL, and in generating discussions that would heighten the awareness and lead to an eventual consensus on social and economic reforms, especially among the youth and other basic sectors who are the main stakeholders in the peace process.
These we will do in prayer and with the faith that the cries for peace and justice will reverberate in this land and finally come to pass.
Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD Ms. Sharon Rose Joy Ruiz-Duremdes
Co-chairperson, PEPP Co-chairperson, PEPP
Most Rev. Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr., DD
Head, PEPP Secretariat