NDFP Media Office
Fidel V. Agcaoili
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
31 March 2017
The GRP’s last minute announcement not to restore its unilateral ceasefire constitutes an unexpected departure from the March 11 backchannel agreement where both parties agreed to simultaneously reinstate their respective unilateral ceasefires before the start on April 2 of the fourth round of peace talks. The NDF and the GRP agreed to this measure in the interim in order to move the talks forward and improve the atmosphere for negotiations after the impasse last February.
Because the GRP negotiating panel is coming to the Netherlands for the fourth round of formal talks, the NDFP negotiating panel is willing to be flexible and is open to discussing with its counterpart what kind of bilateral ceasefire agreement is desired by the GRP in place of the unilateral ceasefire.
The NDFP believes it is possible at the soonest time to have a bilateral ceasefire agreement that conforms to the position that simultaneous and reciprocal declarations of unilateral ceasefire can be agreed upon and bound by the Joint Statement at the end of the fourth round of formal talks.
The NDFP is one with the GRP in desiring to resolve the serious concerns that have been raised in relation to the previous six-month unilateral ceasefires, mindful that addressing these issues is crucial to ensuring that any ceasefire agreement in the future would be more effective.
Meanwhile, both parties will continue to hammer out a single joint ceasefire document that will take a longer time to forge in conjunction with the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) and the amnesty and release of all political prisoners as listed by the NDFP.
The NDFP is fully prepared to craft a draft common agreement with the GRP on socio-economic reforms before the end of the year.###
Fidel V. Agcaoili