MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine government welcomes the National Democratic Front's openness to continue peace talks after a two-day meeting in Oslo, Norway earlier this month.
It is the first time the communist group expressed willingness to return to the negotiating table since February last year.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Ging Deles said the NDF continues to insist on the release of their jailed consultants while the government's main concern is ending the violence perpetrated by the NDF's armed wing, the New People's Army.
"This is all still preparatory to talks. For government, it's important that if we resume talks it's going to be substantive so this is still on the informal stage, still laying the ground for hopefully an agreement," she told ANC.
On the peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Deles said the two sides will have another meeting next month.
While there is progress in the negotiations, Deles admits there is still a long way to go before an agreement with the MILF is finally reached.
"What was clear is now we're talking details and details are always harder. It's easy to agree on principles. The devil is in the details as we will say so it was not an immediate agreeement but bottom lines were set on certain very ticklish issues such as transition," she said.
"What was good is that people stayed on the table. There was no threat to stand up and go and positions were exchanged and the agreement was to confer this with the principals," she added.