MANILA—Government chief peace negotiator Silvestre Bello III on Thursday said both government and the National Democratic Front/ Communist Party of the Philippines should work on how to go back to the negotiating table to end five decades of hostilities.
Speaking before members and officers of the academe with Alpha Phi Omega and Beta Sigma Fraternities during the Talakaayan Tungkol sa GRP-NDF Peace Talks at the auditorium of the UP College of Education, Bello stressed the Duterte administration is determined to push peace with the communist rebels and end fighting among Filipinos.
“It is uncalled for to know that Filipinos against fellow Filipinos kill each other,” Bello told attendees which include senior members of the NDF like former Bayan Muna congressman Satur Ocampo and Randy Malayao, NDF Peace negotiator.
Bello also said what have been attained in the last three peace talks in the Netherlands and in Italy may be wasted if the NDF will not stop harassing military and collecting revolutionary taxes which he called extortion.
He even mentioned that what they want to address is severe poverty which is the main reason of rebellion.
Bello also blamed the NDF for the stalled talks saying that their lifting of the unilateral ceasefire caused a stop in the progress gained in the talks.
Bello also said had there been no hurdles, they expect that the final draft of a peace agreement would have been signed before the end of 2017 or early next year.
Bello also challenged the organizers of the forum – APO and Beta Sigma fraternities to lead by example and be peace advocates in the school campus.
“You are the next leaders of this country. It is better for you to start making peace and show to the present generation that there is no progress if there is no peace,” Bello pointed out.
For their part, Ocampo and Malayao agreed to go back to negotiating table for they knew this is the best way to attain peace.