Below are 3 articles from the press in the Philippines on plans to start formal peace talks in early 2011 in Norway between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which includes the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.
Interview with Jose Maria Sison on GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations
Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 25, 2010
1. How do you see Alex Padilla and his team? Are they acceptable to the NDFP panel?
JMS: PNoy [President Benigno Aquino] has made an excellent choice of Alex Padilla as the chair of the GRP Negotiating Panel. Alex has an understanding of the Filipino people’s struggle for national independence and democracy. He was a human rights lawyer and was once with Bayan. I also know Pablito Sanidad personally. He is also an excellent choice by PNoy. He is known as a man of integrity, a human rights lawyer, a patriot and progressive. I do not know the three other GRP panelists personally.
PNoy as GRP principal has the prerogative of appointing his own panelists . His panel appears to be so composed as to encourage the belief that there will be serious peace negotiations towards mutually satisfactory agreements. Through NDFP negotiating panel chairperson Luis Jalandoni, the NDFP has already publicly welcomed and accepted the new GRP panel.
2. What should be a good starting point for the renewal of the talks?
JMS: The chairmen of the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels should start immediately to communicate with each other. It is possible that by the time you go to press they shall have started to communicate and try to arrange preliminary talks between teams of the panels as soon as possible in Oslo. The preliminary talks are intended to pave the way for the resumption of formal talks in January or February. Continue reading