Monday, February 27, 2017

Group of Pinoys abroad wants peace talks to resume

A group of overseas Filipinos has called on President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the resumption of the government’s peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“Having been forced to leave our loved ones and the country in order to work abroad, we have an acute sense of the need for such change in our country,” the Kababayan4Change said in a statement released recently.
It said Filipinos abroad believe “the peace talks with the NDFP [is] a venue for pursuing genuine change.”
The members of the US-based Kababayan4Change said, the peace talks “is not just an issue between the government of the Philippines and the NDFP; it is about us migrant Filipinos and poor Filipinos.”
“We understand that its goal is to address the socio-economic root causes of the armed insurgency being waged by the New People’s Army,” it said.
“We understand that its intended result is the implementation of socio-economic reforms by the government as a basis for just and lasting peace in the Philippines,” it added.
The Kababayan4Change statement said it would be a pity if the negotiations will be brought to an end because of an isolated violent incident, saying it has already achieved “breakthroughs,” such as the release of political prisoners.
They said the talks have already allowed “the longest ever ceasefire period between the two camps was declared, and the talks went farthest so far in the agenda.”
“We were glad that the Duterte administration and the NDFP were into initial discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms or CASER,” the statement said, adding that the CASER is the “meat” of the peace talks.
If the CASER reforms will happen, it said, there will be decent jobs in the Philippines that will bring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) back home.
“We are therefore calling on President Duterte: Continue to push for change. Defy the oligarchs and the military. Continue the peace talks with the NDFP,” the statement concluded.
The communist insurgency in the Philippines has been one of the longest-running armed insurgencies in Asia and the world. —Fort Nicolas Jr/LBG, GMA News

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