Philippine govt to revive peace talks with leftist rebelsSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 17/10/2012 7:34 pm in World / 1 comment
MANILA, Oct. 17 — Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III said Wednesday there is an effort to revive the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), which have been stalled since last year.
The statement was made after the Philippine government signed a framework peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on Monday, which aims to bring an end to the 40-year rebellion in southern Philippines.
Aquino, who has vowed to pursue the peace process during his six-year term, said his administration is not giving up in pushing for a political settlement with the leftist insurgents.
“The other day I was told that they (leftist rebels) are renewing dialogue with us. Am I as optimistic? I tend to be pessimistic in the sense of preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” Aquino told a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.
The President, however, could not say when the peace negotiation could resume.
“We’re moving forward where it previously had stagnated,” he said.
The peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDF, the political front of the CPP-NPA, have been stalled since February last year.
The rebels have been demanding the Aquino administration release most of their detained comrades, whom they claimed were covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees ( JASIG) before going back to the negotiating table. But the government insisted that there should be no precondition in the peace talks.
The Philippines has the world’s longest-running leftist insurgency, which is now on its 42nd year.