NDFP Media Office
5 April 2017
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) today agreed to work together to forge an interim joint ceasefire agreement. They formalized their commitment through a document entitled Agreement on an Interim Joint Ceasefire which was signed this afternoon by NDFP panel chair Fidel Agcaoili and GRP panel chair Silvestre Bello III.
The interim joint ceasefire agreement shall be signed simultaneous to, or immediately after, the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER). CASER is expected to be finished within the year.
The interim joint ceasefire agreement (or the Comprehensive Joint Ceasefire Agreement) shall be effective until a permanent ceasefire is forged as part of the Comprehensive Agreement on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces.
Both parties agreed to direct their respective Ceasefire Committees to meet even in-between formal talks “to discuss, formulate, and finalize the guidelines and ground rules for the implementation” of the agreement.
The Comprehensive Joint Ceasefire Agreement is expected to be more stable than the previous unilateral ceasefires that existed from August 2016 to January 2017.
The prospective ceasefire’s guidelines and ground rules shall govern the presence of armed units and elements of both parties in local communities and the creation of buffer zones. They shall include an agreement on what constitutes prohibited, hostile, and provocative acts. They will also provide for a ceasefire monitoring and verification mechanism to oversee the ceasefire’s implementation and handle complaints and alleged violations.
The matter of a single governmental authority and taxation shall be discussed and resolved in forging the Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms, the third substantive agenda of the peace negotiations.