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NDFP announcement of the Resumption of Formal Peace Talks

NDFP announcement of the Resumption of Formal Peace Talks with the GRP
Negotiating Panel
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
January 13, 2004

The formal talks in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) will resume within February in a foreign venue.

The resumption of the talks is within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 and subsequent agreements of the GRP and NDFP and in accordance with a joint statement signed by GRP negotiating panel chairman Silvestre Bello III and NDFP negotiating panel chairman Luis Jalandoni.

The joint statement is attached hereto. It contains the following points of agreement:

The Hague Joint Declaration and other agreements are reaffirmed as the foundation and framework of the peace negotiations.

The outstanding issue of “terrorist” listing shall be resolved by undertaking effective measures in consonance with The Hague Joint Declaration and other agreements.

Full protection shall be afforded by pertinent provisions of said agreements and the Amado V. Hernandez doctrine on political offense.

The formation of the Joint Monitoring Committee in accordance with the CARHR/IHL shall be completed.

The work of the Reciprocal Working Committes on Social and Economic Reforms shall resume.

The GRP proposal for sequential and accelerated work and other related proposals shall be discussed.

The GRP shall undertake confidence-building measures, such as the following:

6.1 the release of all prisoners and detainees whose release was recommended by the GRP in 2001 and act on updated list submitted by KARAPATAN and other human rights organizations;

6.2 actions in support of the claims of indemnification of victims of human rights violations of the Marcos dictatorship, including a proposal to Congress to pass a law appropriating at least P 8 billion from the Marcos ill-gotten wealth.

The formal talks shall be resumed in February 2004 in a foreign neutral venue in accordance with JASIG and in consultation with the third party facilitator.

The NDFP holds the view that the resumption of formal talks is long overdue and hopes that no further delays would come from the GRP side which has been responsible for paralyzing the formal talks since June 2001.

The NDFP panel chairman Luis Jalandoni is now busy consulting GRP panel chairman Silvestre Bello III and the Norwegian government as third party facilitator concerning arrangements for the holding of the formal talks.