House panel approves reso urging Duterte to
continue peace talks
130 congressmen want the Philippine government and communists to
return to the negotiating table
February 21, 2017
Philippines – The House committee on peace, reconciliation, and unity
approved a resolution calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to continue
peace talks with communists.
Voting 8-0-0, the panel gave its nod to House Resolution Number 769, which
has been signed by 130 congressmen.
The lawmakers believe the President should continue the peace negotiations
because the "Duterte administration [has] reached remarkable and
unparalleled headway" compared to past administrations.
"Terminating the same would only put to waste the unprecedented, positive,
and substantial gains the peace talks have reached," said the lawmakers.
"It is highly imperative that this Congress hear the Filipino people's
desire to support the resumption of the peace negotiations. It is just and
lasting peace itself that is the very compelling reason to continue the
peace negotiations," they added.
Duterte scrapped the peace talks after the New People's Army withdrew from
a 5-month-old ceasefire.
The government also issued a notice to cancel an agreement giving some
rebels immunity from arrest – the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity
Guarantees. (READ: Rebels reject 'improper' notice to cancel talks, JASIG)
The President met with leftist Cabinet members on Monday night, February
20, to discuss the breakdown of talks with communist rebels.
Chief presidential peace adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza said Duterte
"vowed to work for a strategic shift during his incumbency." – with
reports from Carmela Fonbuena / Rappler.com