Peace talks resumption with Reds urged

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: (L-R) Silvestre H. Bello, Hernani Braganza, Angelia Trinidad, Rene Sarmiento, Antonio Arellano and Edgardo Pamintuan of the Philippine government and Luis Jalandoni, Benito Tiamzon, Asterio Palima, Coni Ledesma, Julie de Lima, Fidel Agcaoili and Jose Maria Sison of the the National Democratic Front (NDFP) during the peace talks with the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Asker, Norway October 9, 2016. NTB Scanpix/Torstein Boe/via REUTERS
FILE PHOTO: (L-R) Silvestre H. Bello, Hernani Braganza, Angelia Trinidad, Rene Sarmiento, Antonio Arellano and Edgardo Pamintuan of the Philippine government and Luis Jalandoni, Benito Tiamzon, Asterio Palima, Coni Ledesma, Julie de Lima, Fidel Agcaoili and Jose Maria Sison of the the National Democratic Front (NDFP) during the peace talks with the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Asker, Norway October 9, 2016. NTB Scanpix/Torstein Boe/via REUTERS

Several progressive groups expressed support over Senator Loren Legarda’s statement calling for the continuation of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).

Gabriela Women’s Party believed that Legarda’s call for the resumption of peace talks was a step towards “national sovereignty, democracy and social justice.”

This was affirmed by the multi-sectoral alliance Movement Against Tyranny, who said that the resumption “is exactly what the country needs to hear and do.”

Kabataan Party-list also stood by the senator “amid machinated attacks by state-sponsored social media trolls and red-taggers.”

Kabataan Party-list added, “It is a breath of fresh air for the Filipino youth to witness such an impassioned speech by a senator despite the dominating red scare hysteria proliferated by state forces under the former Duterte and now Marcos Jr. regime, particularly through the NTF-ELCAC [National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict].”

Church groups under the Philippine Ecunemical Peace Platform (PEPP) were also one with the call and wrote a letter addressed to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., asking him to “reconsider [the government’s] approach to peace.” PEPP consists of five religious formations.

During a hybrid plenary session on Tuesday (August 30), the pro tempore senate president called for the resumption of negotiations so that the government and progressive grassroots organizations “can work together towards more equity, peace and authentic real reforms in the countryside.”

The senator also called for the review of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Law, and recalled her vote against the law.

“I recall and I hope my vote was recorded correctly when I was in the House of Representatives at the time of the pandemic, because I did not vote in its favor,” she said.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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