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                  Resumption of Peace Talks


"Violence generates more violence; dialogue is the only path for
peace", said Pope Francis last June 29, as he appealed for peace in
Iraq. Violence, unfortunately, is also a reality in our country,
including in our province of Cagayan where recently a town Mayor was
fatally shot in broad daylight, and several human rights activists
have been killed.

A major cause for the lack of peace is the on-going conflict between
the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front. I am
earnestly appealing to both sides to resume the peace talks that were
begun in the 1990's, and were even moderately successful initially.
We urge and pray for both sides to sit down and face each other in
sincere dialogue.

But no dialogue can start if one side accuses the other of bad faith.
I therefore appeal that each side trust the other, that each side
commit itself to the resumption of the peace talks not just to achieve
a tactical or strategic advantage, but because each one truly wants
peace for our country and our people.


+ Sergio L. Utleg
Archbishop of Tuguegarao






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