By Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
27 October 2010
House Assistant Minority Leader and Leyte (1st District) Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez yesterday backed the proposal for the government to resume peace talks with National Democratic Front (NDF). This, he said, will end the decades-long communist insurgency that has been preventing growth in the countryside.
Romualdez, a senior member of the House committees on rules and on justice, said both parties should capitalize on the present good condition to set the preliminary talks which according to Jose Ma. Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP), may happen in Oslo, Norway and which could be the key to the formal resumption of peace talks by January or February next year.
Let’s give peace a chance and we hope that all sides will agree to our proposal to ensure the reopening of the long-stalled peace negotiations. The people have been asking for a genuine peace to push economic developments in the countryside,said Romualdez, also a senior member of the House committees on national defense and security and on public order and safety.
He lauded the position of Sison as a display of goodwill and commitment to push peace negotiations to send NDF chairman Luis Jalandoni and his wife, Coni Ledesma, a negotiating panel member, in Malacanang to pay respect with President Benigno Noynoy Aquino III, a move which could be the first time since the talks began in the late 1980s.
This is a good gesture on the part of the NDF. We need all the confidence building measures we can show just to ensure the reopening of peace talks,said Romualdez. This is an opportunity for the government and the armed rebels to work together to find lasting peace.
The lawmaker said the resumption of peace talks would give great relief to civilians who have been seriously affected by war-torn environment due to insurgency and also by the secessionist problems.
We appreciate and understand the importance of preliminary talks to our countrymen whose lives and properties were affected by the armed hostilities. Let’s hope and pray for a lasting peace with the NPA (New People’s Army) and MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) for the safety of our countrymen,said Romualdez.
The Leyte congressman also expressed hope that President Aquino will tap deserving members to the negotiating groups who are acceptable to most stakeholders.
We need credible people who are acceptable to the NDF and to most stakeholders to ensure the success of peace talks,said Romualdez.