Aquino gov’t eyes peace pact with CPP-NPA-NDF in 3 years

Posted By: Chris On:

CAGAYAN DE ORO City, Dec. 16, 2010—The Aquino administration is hopeful that it can successfully forge a final peace agreement with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in three years.

Government Chief Negotiator Alexander Padilla said that the GRP peace panel is leaving no stone unturned in finally settling the more than four decades of protracted conflict with the communist front so that government can implement the settlement.

The CPP-NPA-NDF armed struggle is a record of its own — being the “longest protracted insurgency” in the whole world, Padilla said.

“We hope that everything will be finished in three years because we want the administration to implement the settlement,” he said in a statement.

Padilla said that the Aquino administration is really bent on achieving a final settlement with the communist insurgents to avoid both parties from taking a hardline stance in the negotiations leading to a stalemate which will make it hard for the next administration to solve.

“These negotiations have been going on for so long. If we cannot have an agreement in this administration, we might find it hard to have it in the next,” he said

Padilla also said that Aquino administration strongly believes that it cannot solve the communist insurgency through the military solution.

“The previous administration tried to eliminate the NPA in three years time but did not succeed because they used military means,” he said, adding: “We have not seen anybody who have won through military means.”

Padilla also reiterated his earlier statement that the Aquino administration sees that the surrender of the CPP-NPA-NDF is not the key to the achievement of a lasting peace deal with the communist front.

He said that only a political settlement through peaceful negotiations can end communist insurgency, a belief that he said is also being shared by the leadership of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

“That is why we need political solution. We really need to talk,” he said.

“Communism as a political ideology is outdated. Political conflicts today are not all about ideologies. Issues of conflict are now on climate change, resources, among others,” he added. (Bong D. Fabe)

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