MANILA – The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said it is willing to reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Rodrigo Duterte with communist rebels.
According to Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, NDFP chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni told government peace negotiator Silvestre Bello III that the communist party welcomes Duterte's declaration.
But Sison said the NDFP would only reciprocate the move once the government hands the full text of its ceasefire declaration, government troops withdraw from the ground, and political detainees are released.
''Jalandoni affirmed that the NDFP shared with President Duterte the determination to work for a just and lasting peace. He averred that the NDFP would be able to respond to or reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire declaration of the GRP soon after receiving its full text. He assured Bello that the NDFP would study it carefully and make the appropriate response,'' Sison said.
''Jalandoni assumed that the GRP ceasefire declaration of the GRP is necessarily connected with the the release of all current political prisoners under the amnesty proclamation to be issued by the President Duterte and concurred in by a majority of Congress, as referred to by the Oslo Joint Statement of June 15, 2016," he added.
The formal talks between the government and NDFP will resume on August 20 and presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza has said some 11 political prisoners will be released ahead of the resumption of talks.