Angeles City mayor in Norway for peace negotiations

MAYOR Edgardo Pamintuan travelled to Oslo, Norway on Saturday to join the peace negotiation with the National Democratic Front as adviser of the Government Peace Panel.

He will be representing the local government units.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to represent the local government units in the coming peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Oslo, Norway. As president of the League of Cities of the Philippines and Angeles City Mayor, I believe that my role as adviser involves not only offering insights and the LGU perspective but also to help consolidate the GRP peace panel and achieve unity with the NDF panel even on contentious issues laid on the negotiation table,” Pamintuan said.

“The ‘protracted war’ being waged for more than 46 years has resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of rural folks specifically the Indigenous Peoples, fisher-folks, farmers and farm workers, and the rural poor, in general. It has resulted in death of tens of thousands and the disappearance of hundreds,” he added.

According to Pamintuan, “the best and the brightest of the country’s youth have offered their very lives for the cause they believed in – both as revolutionaries and as young officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).”

“It has affected the growth of the country, in general, and the development of local government units, in particular. History would prove that the LGUs are among the most affected in this war. We bear the brunt of the ill-effects of armed encounters between the AFP/PNP and the NPA,” the mayor noted.

Agricultural production, livelihood and economic activities,bhe said, are negatively affected. Towns and barangays stagnate, and families and children are caught in the crossfire.

Pamintuan also reiterated the LCP’s statement that the coming peace negotiations could use the positive experiences in Guatemala and El Salvador as models particularly the signings of the Chapultepec Peace Accords on January 16, 1992 in Mexico City and the Guatemelan Peace Agreement on December 29, 1996 in Guatemala City.

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