Gov't renews call for Reds to resume peace process

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Monday, September 1, 2014

THE Aquino administration renewed on Monday its call to the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) to resume the peace process with the government.

Government peace panel head Alexander Padilla, however, said that the peace negotiation should be agenda- and time-bound.

"Time and again, we have asked the CPP/NPA/NDF to join us in searching for fair and peaceful solutions to the issues that divide us. We have asked them to engage in talks that have a clear agenda and time-table, to talk not just for the sake of talking, but to reach specific agreements that will lessen if not eradicate the violence on the ground," he said.

"History has shown that it is through earnest dialogue, not armed violence, that we can create peace," Padilla said.

The official issued the statement as the country celebrates this year's National Peace Consciousness Month with the theme "Nagkakaisang Bayan para sa Kapayapaan."

"We celebrate this year’s National Peace Consciousness Month aware of the gains of our Government's peace processes with the different armed groups in the country, but deeply cognizant of the need to move forward in our negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front," he said.

Padilla said the government's doors have always been open to peaceful dialogue with the Maoist group.

"We have not lost hope that we and the communist rebels will return to the table," he added.

He stressed that peace is a collective aspiration.

"It is not the task of government alone. It is in solidarity that we aspire for peace; it is also in solidarity that we should work for peace," he said.

Formal talks with the NDF, the political front of the CPP/NPA, bogged down in February 2011. The Aquino administration tried to revive the peace negotiation under a special track early last year, but it also collapsed. (SDR/Sunnex)

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