The negotiations between Manila and the NDFP, which seek to end the Philippines’s four-decade-old communist insurgency, began in the late ’80s, during the presidency of Corazon Aquino, the current president’s mother. These, however, were stalled by many issues, among them the growing cases of human-rights violations, the political scandals that rocked the succeeding administrations, and the government’s violations of the earlier agreements.
Formed in 1973, the NDFP is the front organization representing revolutionary groups in the Philippines. Among its members is the Communist Party of the Philippines, whose armed wing, New People’s Army, has been waging a communist revolution in the Philippines in the past four decades — one of the longest surviving communist movements in the world.
Norway has served as a third party facilitator to the peace talks since 2001. The informal talks were last held in Norway in August 2005 but both parties did not come to an agreement to proceed to formal negotiations.
Following is the joint communiqué:
Preliminary talks were held on January 14-18, 2011 in Oslo, Norway between the Government of the Philippines (GPH, formerly known as the GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panels with the facilitation of the Royall Norwegian Government (RNG) to pave the way for the resumption of the formal talks.
Atty. Alexander A. Padilla headed the GPH Panel and Mr. Luis G. Jalandoni headed the NDFP Panel in the preliminary talks. Ambassador Ture Lundh was also present as head of the RNG team.
Deputy Director General Tomas Stangeland graced the opening of the preliminary talks and affirmed the continuing commitment of the RNG in performing its role as Third Party Facilitator in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.
The two Panels agreed to resume the formal talks on February 15 to 21, 2011 in Oslo, Norway. They also agreed on the agenda of the formal peace talks which is attached hereto.
The GPH Panel agreed to work for the expeditious release of detained NDFP consultants and other JASIG-protected persons in compliance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and in the spirit of goodwill.
Both Panels agreed to recommend to their respective principals ceasefire from February 15 to 21, 2011 as reciprocal goodwill measure to mark the resumption of formal talks after so many years.
Signed on January 18, 2011 in Oslo, Norway.
ALEXANDER A. PADILLA – Chairperson of the GPH Panel
LUIS G. JALANDONI – Chairperson of the NDFP Panel
PABLITO V. SANIDAD – GPH Panel Member (for the GPH)
JOSE MARIA SISON – NDFP Chief Political Consultant (for the NDFP)
AMB. TURE LUNDH – For the Royal Norwegian Government
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