BBC News Asia-Pacific, 2 December 2010
Peace talks have been suspended since 2004
Representatives of the Philippines government and of the country’s Communist Party are meeting in Hong Kong to find a way to reopen peace talks.
The government’s chief negotiator Alexander Padilla is meeting with Luis Jalandoni of the National Democratic Front, or NDF. The NDF is an umbrella group of leftist organisations including the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The party, founded in 1968, still poses a threat in parts of the country.
Some of its former leaders hold seats in the Senate and Congress while others, such as Mr Jalandoni, face arrest warrants in the Philippines.
The talks are being held in Hong Kong to assuage his fears of arrest if he returned to the Philippines. He lives in exile in the Netherlands as does the head of the CPP, Jose Maria Sison.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino set up a panel in October to seek a way to re-open peace talks. “It’s the very first step to lay the good foundation for the talk. They (government negotiators) know that they have my entire support behind them. So I would not pressure them to coming up with results just for a good soundbite. We really want to achieve the lasting solutions towards this longest-running insurgency,” he said. Continue reading