"Think of communities, victims in peace nego"
With the resumption of peace talks, the fourth negotiations between the Philippine Government (GRP) and the country’s communist group is set to continue April 1.
A network of civil society organization and rights groups expresses relief and lauds the peace panels of the GRP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) for agreeing to get back to table.
The Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) as well emphasizes that while the network "are happy that a light of hope glints as the GRP-NDFP peace table is back on track, both parties this time must also consider prioritizing bilateral ceasefire."
"We are relieved that the wind has changed in favor of just and lasting peace. But the fact that attacks, encounters, and deadly firefights are still happening in communities still keeps us all awake at night," Yoly Esguerra, the national coordinator of the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) said.
Esguerra also highlighted that they call on both parties to put the victims of the conflict at the center of the negotiation
"The discussion of what needs to be set-out in the future is important, which is why we celebrate that this peace table is back and functional. This time, however, both parties must consider that listening and giving space and justice to the victims of long-standing war should should not be a separate agenda," she added.