Jamby, NDF call for resumption of peace talks
ABS-CBN, (2nd UPDATE) 14 October 2007 (as of 3:58 AM)
Sen. Maria Consuelo "Jamby" Madrigal on Saturday said that after meeting
with representatives of the National Democratic Front in the Netherlands
they have agreed to call for the resumption of formal peace talks
between the Philippine government and NDF.
Madrigal, in a statement, said: "The NDFP has agreed with me in a Joint
Statement executed in the Netherlands that, people should unite to
encourage the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and
NDFP to resume formal talks in their peace negotiations, address the
roots of the armed conflict, accelerate the forging of agreements and
bring about a just and lasting peace."
Furthermore, Madrigal said the NDF negotiating panel "agreed to exhaust
all efforts to reach a resolution to Asia's longest running insurgency problem
until peace is achieved."
ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau learned that Madrigal met with Luis T.
Jalandoni, chief of the NDF negotiating panel; Fidel V. Agcaoili, member
and spokesperson of the NDF panel and Ruth de Leon, executive director
of NDF International Information Office. Jose Ma. Sison, founding
chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and chief
political consultant of the NDF panel was also present at the meeting.
Formal talks between the government and representatives of the armed
communist movement in the Philippines bogged down in 2004. NDF officials
accused the Arroyo administration of refusing to work for the removal of
the CPP and its armed wing New People's Army from the terror listing
made by United States and other countries.
The government of Norway assisted the government-NDF peace talks by
acting as a third-party facilitator.
Madrigal said that as chairman of the Senate Committee on Peace,
Unification and Reconciliation she will work for resumption of the
"I shall form a Technical Working Group to assist in hastening the
resolution of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations for the purpose of
enacting remedial legislation and to demonstrate that it is possible to
produce agreements and actually use these to accelerate the GRP-NDFP
peace negotiations," said the senator.
Madrigal also did not fail to recognize the difficulties that she may
face in trying to jump start the talks that have been suspended for more
than three years.
"I hope that the Arroyo administration and the hawks in the political
and military establishment will not condemn me for engaging in
treacherous talks with fellow Filipinos for the purpose of achieving
peace," said Madrigal.
Madrigal had previously met with NDF officials in 2006 when she also
inked a joint communiqué that had also called for the resumption of
the suspended peace talks. She reportedly earned the ire of government
security officials for "sleeping with the enemy.
The neophyte senator however maintained her position.
"My intentions are clear - prevent further bloodshed and violence
between Filipinos," said Madrigal. "There is no substitute for peace.
The time to talk is now."
For its part, the NDF in a separate statement on the meeting with
Madrigal said accused the government of "refusing to continue peace
negotiations with the NDFP, ignoring demands from opposition political
parties and the powerful Christian Churches in the Philippines. It has
instead stepped up armed attacks against the territories of the New
People's Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines, and unleashed
paramilitary death squads against legal opposition parties and
The NDF also lauded Madrigal as "one of the leaders of the crusade
against government corruption and a staunch promoter of social reforms
in the Philippines."
With photos and a report from Loui Galicia, ABS-CBNEurope
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