SUPPORT PEACE ROADMAP FOR GPH-CPP/NDF/NPA
End bloodshed. End strife.
Originally agreed-on by both parties, the Government of the Philippines and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF) are set to return to the peace table this coming August 20-27. This window shall be an opportunity for both groups to show their genuine resolve in paving the road for peace for this country.
The recent exchange of jarring statements by both parties against each other; the seemingly slow response of the CPP-NPA-NDF to the unilateral ceasefire by government, which lead to the death of civilian militia from the recent encounters; the usual blow-by-blow exchanges of criticisms and seeming provocations: all these should not deter the peace talks that is now about to happen.
We ask both parties to act with restraint and discuss their differences in the negotiating table, not over media. We ask the President to give his full trust to his appointed peace panel and to ensure that his ground troops toe the line of peace. We ask the CPP-NPA-NDF to ensure that no further discordant actions, that could undermine the peace talks, shall take place given that they have already agreed to ceasefire.
As a network of faith-based institutions, civil society, community-based peoples’ organization, and rights defenders, we desire that the long-standing strife between the GPH and the CPP-NPA-NDF will result to resolving issues justly and rationally, and will ultimately end to peace, not to further bloodshed.
Instead of dying by bullets and being caught in crossfire, we urge everyone to “turn their arms into plowshares” and discuss peace-building and development initiatives especially of the poorest communities affected by armed conflicts.
We encourage both parties and their armed troops to push for and observe ceasefire, so that loss of life and violence will be prevented in the ground, bringing back people internally displaced by war ravaging their land and home.
We encourage all, including the citizenry, to pour all-out support alongside this peace effort. Let us all be part of the process to achieve peace. It is high time that we remove divisions, distress and violence in our system by taking advantage of opportunities for dialogue, negotiations, and healing. And we start by opening our hearts and minds to the possibility that peace between the GPH and CPP-NPA-NDF is attainable. Let us support them in their efforts for peace. Let us help them surmount the hurdles in peacebuilding. Let us all give each other a chance to a dash towards peace.