Thursday, July 27, 2017

No formal end yet to peace talks — Bello

Written by EMontano

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has yet to formally terminate peace negotiations with the communist rebels
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in his regular press briefing yesterday that even without a formal written notice, Duterte is  firm with his decision to stop negotiating with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the negotiating arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
As has been previously agreed, the peace talks can only be terminated upon written notice by one party to the other.
“Officially there’s none (written notice),” Abella said.
Duterte pulled the government panel out of the peace talks after New People’s Army rebels ambushed a Presidential Security Group convoy in Cotabato while backchannel talks for the planned fifth round of negotiations were in progress.
“You could say that at this particular stage, those are his directives,” Abella said. “Unless otherwise.”
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who heads the government panel negotiating with the NDFP, told reporters that if they want to end the peace talks would have write to their counterparts about their intention to formally end the negotiations.
“It will take effect 30 days after they receive the letter,” he said.
Bello said they would write the notice of termination only upon the instruction of the President.
Bello lamented that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the cancellation of backchannel talks with communist rebels, at a time when peace negotiations were already moving forward.
“Sayang nga eh, ang dami na nating nagawang forward movement,” Bello said.
He said that according to the Hague Joint Declaration, peace talks are considered terminated only when the other party is formally informed in writing.

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