Political parties in the Philippine Congress expressed support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s peace initiatives and plans to revive the talks with the communist rebels.
In a statement issued on December 5, the leaders of different political parties pledged their “support and commitment to contribute constructively” to the peace negotiations and acknowledged the “complexities and challenges” of the peace process.
“We are united in the belief that through dialogue, empathy, and mutual respect, we can overcome historical divides and build a more inclusive and peaceful nation,” the statement read.
Reginald Velasco, secretary general of the House of Representatives, said the administration’s decision to re-engage with the communist rebels “marks a pivotal moment in our nation’s journey towards lasting peace and sustainable development.”
The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said November 28 they have agreed to resume the negotiations to end a decades-old conflict.
The expression of support was made a day after Vice-President Sara Duterte publicly opposed the peace initiative of the Marcos administration.
Duterte described the move to revive the peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP as an “agreement with the devil.”
“They will use this peace negotiations to betray government and deceive the public,” said the vice president, daughter of former President Rodrigo Duterte who terminated the talks with the communists in 2017.
Duterte, who is also the education secretary and vice co-chair of the anti-communist task force, said the NDFP is not sincere in seeking peace and that the communists will only betray the government.
Recently, the Foreign Ministry of Norway announced that representatives from both GRP and NDFP had reached a consensus on a “shared vision for peace.”
According to the joint announcement, both parties committed to a “principled and peaceful resolution of the armed conflict” and pledged to address the “deep-rooted socioeconomic and political grievances” that had contributed to its emergence.