Philippines Government and Communists Agree to Peace Talks

Philippines Government and Communists Agree to Peace Talks

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines and Communists represented by the National Democratic Front (NDF) have agreed to resume peace talks.

Communist and Islamic insurgencies exist in parts of the Philippines. These insurgencies also fuse with ethnicity and regional forces where discontent exists because of discrimination by central forces in Manila. Henceforth, left-wing and Islamist forces appealed to people who felt alienated.

The government of Norway sought the trust of both parties. Accordingly, a joint statement said, “The parties agree to a principled and peaceful resolution of the armed conflict.”

AP reports, “High-ranking delegations from both sides met in the Norwegian capital of Oslo last week and agreed to a “common vision for peace” that sought to address key obstacles, according to Norway’s foreign ministry.”

The socioeconomic angle – and other important factors – were also acknowledged by both parties.

Hence, the statement also said, “The parties acknowledge the deep-rooted socioeconomic and political grievances and agree to come up with a framework that sets the priorities for the peace negotiation.”

The armed forces of the Philippines stressed military operations against the New People’s Army (military wing of communist forces) will continue until a “final agreement” is signed by the government and communists.

Since 1969, approximately 40,000 people have been killed – armed combatants and innocent civilians.

Lee Jay Walker says, “The leader of the Philippines recently gave amnesty to insurgents, including communists connected to the NPA. It is hoped that peace talks will lead to a final agreement.”

Reuters reports, “If negotiations succeed, the rebels will end their armed struggle and transform into a political movement, according to Norway, which has facilitated the South East Asian island nation’s peace process for around 20 years.”

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