MANILA, Aug 30 (Mabuhay) – The chairman of the government’s negotiating panel with the National Democratic Front on Tuesday blamed the Aquino administration for the five-year impasse in the peace talks with the communist movement.
Bello did not name former President Benigno Aquino III but pertained to the administration of the “immediate past president.”
“Noong nakaraang administration ng immediate past president, hindi nila in-honor yung mga agreements na ito kaya nagkaroon ng impasse sa talks,” said Bello, who is also the secretary of labor.
“Siguro alam naman natin, hindi na lang ako magbanggit baka makasakit ng damdamin, pero maliwanag naman na kaya hindi umusad at nagkaroon ng impasse ang talks ay dahil sa issue na ayaw kilalanin ng ating gobyerno noong nakaraang [administrasyon] yung nilagdaan nating agreements,” he added.
Bello said 10 signed agreements were not honored by the Aquino administration including those on humanitarian and human rights laws.
During the resumption of the formal peace talks in Oslo, Norway, Bello said the government peace panel and the CPP-NPA political arm, the NDF, agreed to reaffirm the previous agreements.
Bello said these included the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees signed during the term of former President Fidel Ramos.
“Pinakita natin sa kanila na kung anuman ang nilagdaan ng ating gobyerno, handa ang ating gobyerno at susundin yung agreement na yan. That is very important in the peace process dahil it goes into the sincerity of the negotiation party, especially government,” he said.
The JASIG enables NDF consultants to freely participate in the peace negotiations without the worries of getting arrested.
“Under the JASIG ay napagkasunduan ng gobyerno na yung mga consultants, participants, security officers and other personalities of NDF na kasama sa peace talks ay mabigyan ng safe pass para puwede silang umikot sa bansa ng libre para puwede sila ay makapagkonsulta,” Bello said.
President Rodrigo Duterte assured on August 16 the temporary release of NDF consultants from detention to join the peace talks in Oslo.
Among the NDF consultants freed for the peace talks include Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, the chairman and secretary general of the CPP-NPA respectively.
Bello said the Tiamzon couple played key roles in the peace negotiations. Both headed committees in charge of issues that both sides agreed to facilitate and resolve.
Among the issues the government and NDF panels agreed to accelerate are those socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.
Bello said Benito heads the committee on socio-economic reforms while Wilma joined the committee on the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.
“Doon sa aming pag-uusap ay napakahalaga ng kanilang participation, dahil si Benito ang naging chairman ng committee nila on social and economic reforms at si Wilma ay sumama doon sa committee on end of hostilities and disposition of forces. Napakahalaga at napakataas ng kanilang partisipasyon sa pag-uusap,” he said.(MNS)