MANILA–The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) has applauded the just-concluded informal talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“We highly commend the negotiating panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP for concluding successfully the informal talks held in Utrecht, Netherlands on March 10-11, 2017,” the PCEC said in a statement.
At the same time, the group acknowledged the effort of the Duterte administration regarding the continuing dialogue.
“We laud President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for making this possible. Despite the serious challenges that have beset the negotiations, President Duterte has continually shown his determination in seeing the peace talks through to its successful conclusion,” the council said.
Furthermore, the PCEC expressed full support for the forging of an interim bilateral ceasefire, which it said is a crucial confidence-building measure that will demonstrate the significant gains of the peace talks.
“We support ensuring the safety and participation of the 19 NDFP consultants in accordance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG),” it said.
”We applaud the resumption of the fourth and fifth rounds of the formal peace talks that are scheduled to take place in April and June 2017, respectively.”
The PCEC also offered to pray for those involved in the peace talks.
“We hold steadfastly in prayer President Duterte and the negotiating panels, and the parties they represent that they be filled with knowledge and wisdom in their negotiations so that genuine peace may at long last settle in our land,” it said.