By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
March 28, 2018
The end of hostilities and disposition of forces are the fourth and last item in the substantive agenda of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration and must be preceded by the comprehensive agreements on respect for human rights and international humanitarian law (CARHRIHL), on social and economic reforms (CASER) and on political and constitutional reforms (CAPCR).
But since October 4, 2017, the NDFP has positively responded to the expressed desire of GRP to draft a ceasefire agreement more effective and more sustained than the previous unilateral ceasefires. Thus, the GRP and NDFP back channel teams have already drafted an agreement on coordinated unilateral ceasefire to be monitored by a joint ceasefire committee of the GRP and NDFP at the national level.
This agreement on coordinated unilateral ceasefire is in the same package of draft agreements, including the draft amnesty to release all NDFP-listed political prisoners in compliance with CARHRIHL and the drafts of such major parts of CASER as Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) and National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED).
I am sure that the enabling environment for the successful conduct of the peace negotiations would ensue from the finalization and signing of the draft agreements in the aforesaid package . When the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels meet again, it should be easy for them to finalize the draft agreements and sign them. ###