CPP-NPA to declare truce amid consultants' release

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2016 09:00 PM

MANILA - The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) will declare a unilateral ceasefire following the temporary release of its members who will take part in peace talks with the government.

The CPP, in a statement Thursday, said the ceasefire order will be issued to its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), in the "next few days."

Several consultants of the CPP's National Democratic Front (NDF) were allowed by courts to post bail Wednesday, following others who went free earlier in the week.

According to NDF legal counsel Edre Olalia, released in time for the peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDF were:

- Alex Birondo,

- Winona Birondo,

- Alfredo Mapano,

- Concha Araneta Bocala,

- Alan Jazmines,

- Tirso "Ka Bart" Alcantara,

- Renante Gamara, and,

- Ernesto Lorenzo.

Alleged top Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leaders Wilma and Benito Tiamzon were also granted bail. 

Their visas have been assured by the Norwegian government, according to Olalia. The consultants will depart Manila in batches starting Friday.

A total of 22 NDF consultants, including the Tiamzons, are expected to participate in peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway from August 22 to 27. 

The CPP said it expects the release of the rest of the other jailed NDFP members who will take part in the talks.

"The CPP deeply appreciates efforts of the GRP President Duterte to comply with the obligations of the GRP under outstanding agreements with the NDFP in order to bolster the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations. The release of all NDFP peace consultants is a reaffirmation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and other NDFP-GRP agreements," the CPP said.

"The release of all NDFP peace consultants will boost several-fold the confidence of the revolutionary forces in GRP President Duterte’s determination to work with the NDFP in peace negotiations," it added.

"The CPP considers the release of all NDFP consultants as an act of goodwill by GRP President Duterte. In appreciation, the CPP reiterates its full support for the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations as a venue to discuss the roots of the armed conflict," the CPP said. "The CPP hopes that mutual efforts by the NDFP and the GRP under Duterte will accelerate peace talks with unprecedented speed and surpass the amount of issues that will be covered and resolved."

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