BAGUIO CITY – The City Council passed a resolution supporting the on-going peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Communist Party of the Philippines – News Peoples Army – National Democratic Front (NPP_NPA_NDF) and urging everyone to support the peace talks as a step towards attaining a just and lasting peace in the country.
The resolution which was authored by all the members of the local legislative body stated there is a need to express the support of the City Government of Baguio to the on-going peace negotiations and urge both camps to seriously settle all the contentious issues and come up with ultimate solutions to the root causes of war that has been dividing the country for several decades now.
“The call for support to the peace process is expanding with the League of Cities of the Philippines through Angles City Mayor Edgardo D. Pamintuan who is the LCP National President and Adviser on the peace process representing the local government units, Taguig City Mayor Ma. Laarni L. Cayetano who is the LCP Chairperson and Balanga City Mayor Francis Anthony S. Garcia, who is the LCP Secretary-General issuing a statement expressing their full support to the resumption of the peace talks. Similarly, several local government units such as Marikina City, Quezon City, Manila City, Dolores, Abra have passed their resolutions supporting the negotiations,” the resolution stressed.
According to the resolution, various peace advocates and religious and faith-based groups such as the Philippine Chapter of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS-Philippines), the United Methodist Church and the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform, a church-based network composed of representatives of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Council of Evangelical Churches, National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Ecumenical Bishops Forum and the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines, have called for local and international support for the resumption of peace negotiations between the government and the communist rebels with some groups urging the public to expose and oppose peace spoilers.
The resolution cited the declaration of the GRP of a unilateral ceasefire and the CPP-NPA-NDF extension of its existing 7-day unilateral ceasefire for an indefinite period has seen its fruition with the stoppage of offensives and silencing of the guns which is a welcome development as the Filipinos, while the peace agreements last, can live peacefully bereft of the cost and tragic consequences of conflict and violence.
It added the long-time call of the Filipino people for a just and lasting peace might finally be achieved with the warring and negotiating parties renewing the peace process and speedily coming up with solutions on some contentious issues which is a good sign that the next round of talks will be pursued sincerely by the concerned parties.
Several peace negotiations between the government and the communist rebels have collapsed due to unresolved issues and the decade-long indifference and impasse in the peace talks gave rise to unrelenting offensives and armed hostilities between the military and the communist rebels across the country.
By Dexter A. See