WHILE the Makabayan bloc welcomed the move to resume peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) they warned about saboteurs.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said that usually in peace talks there are also peace saboteurs working to derail the negotiations.
“Previously, these peace saboteurs and dyed-in-the wool hawks, like National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, monkey wrenched the peace negotiations during the meetings of the peace panels even if there is already an initialed joint stand-down agreement between the government and the NDFP, proof that the peace panels are serious in resuming the stalled talks,” Zarate said.
The Agreement on a Stand-Down for the Resumption of the Formal Peace Talks was signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who heads the government peace panel, and members Hernani Braganza and Angela Librado-Trinidad.
NDF chief negotiator Fidel Agcaoili and panel members Julieta de Lima and Asterio Palima signed it for the NDFP panel.
The joint stand down agreement stated that both parties – including their armed elements such us the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and the New People’s Army – agreed to a stand-down “in consideration of the forthcoming resumption of the formal peace talks, in order to provide through goodwill and confidence-building measures, the positive atmosphere conducive to moving forward and completing the peace negotiations and the implementation of agreements entered into or may be entered into.”
“Now the saboteurs are at it again setting preconditions to the talks even before Sec. Bebot Bello who was tasked to talk to the NDFP even met the opposite panel face to face,” said the progressive solon.
“As they have done several times before, they are again doing it now. These peace saboteurs say they support the peace talks but in reality they are doing all they can to derail it,” he added.