No preconditions in talks with NDF – govt exec

THERE will be  no preconditions in the upcoming talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRPH) and the National Democratic Front (NDF), according to Health Undersecretary Alex Padilla, chairman of the government peace panel.

Padilla said the second round of informal talks between him and Luis Jalandoni, NDF chairman, will be held in Oslo, Norway on Jan. 15-17, 2011. The initial talks were held in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Formal peace negotiation will resume in February, next year, also in Norway.

The Norwegian government has agreed as the third party facilitator for the resumption of peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDF which bogged down in August 2005 after the United States tagged the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed component of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), as a terrorist group.

The communist insurgency in the country has been active for more than four decades, making it the longest running-insurgency war in Asia.

Negotiations have been off-and-on during the past four decades with the CPP/NPA/NDF mostly pulling out of the talks.

In an interview, Padilla expressed the hope that this time the upcoming talks will bear fruit.

He said there are no preconditions for the resumption of the stalled peace talks.

However, while the talks were in the doldrums, the government and NDF peace panels continued back-channeling dialogues to keep the doors open. Philippine News Agency


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