NDFP to engage with VP Robredo for peace talks resumption

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) yesterday expressed intent to engage in discussions with Vice Pres. Leni Robredo regarding the issues in its peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

In an interview with Ang Bayan, recently appointed NDFP negotiating panel interim chairperson Julie de Lima said that “the NDFP, including its panel, should hold discussions with opposition parties, in particular, the Liberal Party,” and “engage the constitutional successor to press for the resumption of the peace negotiation as a rallying point in the effort to oust Duterte.”

“Prospects for resuming the peace negotiations after Duterte, whether he is ousted or he finishes his term, are possible and desirable,” said de Lima. She urged all democratic forces to build the broadest united front and encourage the strengthening of the peace advocacy among various sectors and classes of the people.

She pointed out that in a post-Duterte scenario, “negotiations can immediately resume to tackle the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).” The CASER, de Lima said, “has relevant provisions on confronting the issue of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“The draft agreement has a whole article consisting of seven sections which are devoted to the discussion of the people’s right to health. This includes the establishment of a universal public health system that provides free, comprehensive and quality health services for all,” de Lima added.

De Lima said that the pandemic as a form of disaster is also well covered in CASER. It provides immediate and adequate financial, material, moral and psychosocial support, ensuring disaster preparedness and respons, and holding criminally and civilly liable corrupt and grossly negligent officials.

The NDFP and GRP “can elaborate on the issue based on a summing up of experience and learning lessons from both sides as well as from the positive and negative practices of foreign countries and international agencies in responding and confronting this particular pandemic as well as other pandemics.”

NDFP to engage with VP Robredo for peace talks resumption