In about three and a half hours from now, government peace negotiators in The Netherlands will open the fourth round of peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said, President Duterte’s first mandate for the government panel is to seal a bilateral ceasefire agreement with the communist rebels.
“Let’s address the conflict on the ground first. May giyera-giyera e (there are battles),” Dureza stressed.
Dureza added, there will be another meeting that will draft a comprehensive agreement on socio-economic reforms.
Dureza noted, the CPP/NDF panel sees the 4th
round of talks this week as the final opportunity for government and communist insurgents to forge an accord.
“They say, ‘last chance na natin ito na magkaroon ng final settlement’ (this is our last chance for a final settlement),” the President’s peace adviser said.