The Ramento Project on Rights Defenders is saddened over the recent pronouncement of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), declaring the postponement of the highly-anticipated Fifth Round of Peace Talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“This is truly an unfortunate setback in the struggle to achieve a just and lasting peace in the country. Peace advocates will continue to engage both parties in a bid to bring them back to the negotiating table,” said Bishop Ronel Fabriquer, chairperson of the RPRD board.
The RPRD is the human rights advocacy arm of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.
According to reports, both parties have signed several documents during the informal talks last week. Details of these documents, however, remain scant.
Bishop Fabriquer said that returning to the negotiating table, which will hopefully lead to the eventual signing of the second substantive agreement, the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, will highly benefit the people, most especially in light of the widespread landlessness among farmers and farm workers, the pittance that workers are receiving, the struggle of homeless families in Bulacan, the rising prices of goods and services due to the government tax reform program, among others.
“It is now more than ever that the Filipino people’s aspiration for a better life and future be put across the table. For once, the GRP should heed the cries of the people it promised to serve and protect,” the bishop added. (RPRD News)