The League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) is supporting the resumption of the peace negotiations with all armed groups in the country specifically the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
“The attainment of peace in the country is one of the priority policies of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. In fact, the president was very emotional about this during his first SONA when he said, *’**All of us want peace,
not the peace of the dead but the peace of the living. We express our willingness and readiness to go to the negotiating table, and yet we load our guns, fix our sights, pull the trigger. It is both ironic and tragic–and it is endless. Well, we extol the bravery and heroism of our soldiers. Kayo, the rebels, do the same for the rebels and fighters. What I see instead are the widows and the orphans and I feel their pain and grief.
And no amount of cash assistance or the number of medals can compensate the loss of a human life. Sorrow cuts across every stratum of society. It cuts deeply and the pain lasts forever’,” *the LCP said in a statement signed by its Chairman Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano and President Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.
“The ‘protracted people’s 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,” the league further stated.
According to Pamintuan and Cayetano, “President Duterte is determined to end the armed conflict by addressing its root causes of poverty, injustice, lack of opportunities for the poor, exploitation of the basic sectors perpetuated by the elite/oligarchs,” adding that, “President Duterte has also shown more than enough goodwill by declaring a unilateral ceasefire during his first SONA and supporting the petitions to bail of the detained consultants of the NDF for them to be able to join the peace talks in Oslo, Norway this August 22 to 27, 2016. For its part, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines has announced that it will be announcing a ceasefire during the Oslo talks.”
The LCP also pointed-out that the peace talks could learn from the positive experiences of other countries specifically in Guatemala and El Salvador which led to 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, respectively.
Pamintuan, who has been named as adviser to the Philippine negotiating panel representing the local government units, and Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista will be travelling to Norway next week to attend the peace negotiations.