Statement Of Julie de Lima On The Oslo Joint Communique

Julie de Lima | Interim Chairperson | Negotiating Panel | National Democratic Front Of The Philippines

November 28, 2023

The NDFP is once more taking a step towards continuing peace negotiations with the GRP.

This, six years after the termination of the peace negotiations by then Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte through Proclamation 360 on November 23, 2017.

The NDFP’s resolve to pursue peace negotiations stems from its determination to fulfill the Filipino people’s aspiration to address the root causes of the armed conflict. It is our goal that the peace negotiations would result in comprehensive agreements on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms and provide the solution to problems which have long burdened the Filipino people.

In line with our commitment to return to the negotiating table, the NDFP shall reconstitute its panel and appoint new members before the start of the formal talks. The Parties are in constant communication and both are working towards holding the formal talks.

We know that the quest for genuine peace has no shortcuts. The road to freedom, democracy and social justice is long, winding and difficult.

There are still many serious concerns and issues that need to be discussed, addressed and worked on by the Parties that would help advance the peace negotiations. These are, among others, as follows:

The participation of detained NDFP consultants in the peace negotiations. The role of the NDFP consultants in forging agreements cannot be overemphasized. Hence, we will continue to work for their release to enable them to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the peace negotiations.

The assurance of safety and immunity for those involved in the peace negotiations. This will help facilitate the negotiations, create a favorable atmosphere and obviate any incident that may jeopardize the peace negotiations.

The general, unconditional and omnibus release of all political prisoners.

The abrogation of the unjustified terrorist designation of the NDFP, its panel members, consultants and others who are working for peace.

We will continue to seek effective measures to address these serious issues and concerns and create conducive conditions necessary to achieve a just and lasting peace.

We call on all stakeholders and their constituencies to support and push the Parties in pursuing the peace negotiations to address the persistence of mass poverty, social inequality, and economic underdevelopment that has fueled the armed conflict for decades and find ways to address the roots of the armed conflict, and thus achieve a just and lasting peace for our people.

In the peace negotiations, we are constantly guided by the mutually acceptable principles of national sovereignty, democracy and social justice.

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