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More than 60 lawmakers urge Duterte to resume peace talks


Published March 25, 2018 10:03am

More than 60 lawmakers from the House of Representatives have signed a resolution urging President Rodrigo Duterte to resume peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

In House Resolution 1803, lawmakers across party lines called on the President to continue the peace negotiations and complete the comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms, which would lay the foundations of a just and lasting peace.

Duterte, on November 23 last year, signed Proclamation No. 360 terminating the peace negotiations between the government and NDFP, just two days before the Fifth Round of formal talks scheduled on November 25-27 in Oslo, Norway.

Both negotiating panels were supposed to discuss the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, as well as agreements on general amnesty and release of all political prisoners and the coordinated unilateral ceasefires.

The resolution pointed out that the Duterte administration and the NDFP have reached "remarkable and unparalleled headway" when it comes to peace negations, having been able to hold four successful rounds.

"Continuing the peace talks would benefit the Filipino people, most of whom are poor peasants and workers, as the agreements on agrarian reform and national industrialization may address their issues and concerns and help provide relief for their economic hardships," the resolution reads.

Lawmakers who signed the resolution include:

1. Ruby Sahali Tan (Tawi-Tawi)
2. Sarah Elago (KABATAAN party-list)
3. Carlos Zarate (BAYAN MUNAparty-list)
4. Raul Daza (Northern Samar 1st District)
5. Ariel Casilao (ANAKPAWIS party-list)
6. Emmanuel Billones (Capiz 1st District)
7. Carlito Marquez (Aklan)
8. Leo Cueva (Negros Occidental 2nd District)
9. Melecio Yap Jr. (Negros Occidental 1st District)
10. Anthony Bravo (COOP-NATCCO party-list)
11. Lorna Bautista-Bandigan (Davao Occidental)
12. Joel Almario (Davao Oriental 2nd District)
13. Cesar Sarmiento (Catanduanes)
14. Jose Christopher Belmonte (Quezon City 6th District)
15. Edcel Lagman (Albay 1st District)
16. Tom Villarin (AKBAYAN party-list)
17. Emmi De Jesus (Gabriela Women’s Party)
18. Victor Yap (Tarlac 2nd District)
19. Noel Villanueva (Tarlac 3rd District)
20. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela Women’s Party)
21. Benhur Lopez (YACAP party-list)
22. Eric Singson (Ilocos Sur 2nd District)
23. Lawrence Fortun (Agusan Del Norte 1st District)
24. Henry Ong (Leyte 2nd District)
25. Raul Tupas (Iloilo 5th District)
26. Edwin Ong (Northern Samar 2nd District)
27. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay (SENIOR CITIZEN party-list)
28. Salvador Belaro Jr. (1-ANG EDUKASYON party-list)
29. Rodante Marcoleta (SAGIP party-list)
30. Alfredo Garbin Jr. (AKO BICOL party-list)
31. Eugene Michael De Vera (ABS party-list)
32. Ron Salo (KABAYAN party-list)
33. Bayani Fernando (Marikina City 1st District)
34. Deogracias Victor Savellano (Ilocos Sur 1st District)
35. Teddy Baguilat Jr. (Ifugao)
36. Allen Jesse Mangaoang (Kalinga)
37. Manuel Zubiri (Bukidnon 3rd District)
38. Leopoldo Bataoil (Pangasinan 2nd District)
39. Bolet Banal (Quezon City 3rd District)
40. Juliet Marie Ferrer (Negros Occidental 4th District)
41. Gerald Gullas (Cebu 1st District)
42. Wilfredo Caminero (Cebu 2nd District)
43. Virgilio Lacson (MANILA TEACHERS party-list)
44. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang (Apayao)
45. Sabiniano Canama (COOP-NATCCO party-list)
46. France Castro (ACT TEACHERS party-list)
47. Amihilda Sangcopan (AMIN party-list)
48. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol 2nd District)
49. Michelle Antonio (AGBIAG party-list)
50. Maria Lourdes Acosta-Alba (Bukidnon 1st District)
51. Juliette Uy (Misamis Oriental 2nd District)
52. Strike Revilla (Cavite 2nd District)
53. Arnel Ty (LPGMA party-list)
54. Gabriel Bordado Jr. (Camarines Sur 3rd District)
55. Antonio Tinio (ACT TEACHERS party-list)
56. John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto (Manila 3rd District)
57. Edward Maceda (Manila 4th District)
58. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Cagayan De Oro 2nd District)
59. Jesus Sacdalan (North Cotabato 1st District)
6O. restes Salon (AGRI party-list)
61. ajid Mangudadatu (Maguindanao 2nd District)

For his part, Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate said the filing and support of lawmakers to the resolution is "very encouraging" in urging the Duterte administration to heed the call for a just peace.

"The best government policy to deal with the root causes of the armed conflict is through the peace talks and in implementing genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization," he said.

"We are calling on all peace loving people to intensify our earnest call for the government and NDFP to give the quest for a just and lasting peace a chance. This is not the time to abandon it, for the greater interest of our country and people," he added. —LBG, GMA News