Advance in talks elates Norway

Government of Norway extended its congratulations to the negotiating panels of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front (NDF) for moving ahead in seeking an end to the armed conflict following the signing of an agreement that will lead to a permanent cessation of hostilities.

Ambassador Martin Sorby, the Norwegian envoy to The Netherlands, said his government was very much elated with the advance of the peace talks as both panels signed a pact that set off mechanisms for a joint ceasefire between state forces and the New People’s Army (NPA).

The Royal Norwegian Government has been facilitating the talks between the GRP and the NDF since 2001.

Ambassador Martin Sorby met key members of both the Philippine and NDF delegations at his residence here shortly after the Agreement on a Joint Interim Ceasefire was sealed on Wednesday on the second day of the 4th round of formal talks at the Radisson Blu Palace in the cold town of Noordwiijk, about 50 kilometers southwest of Amsterdam.

The delegations were accompanied by Elisabeth Slattum, the Norwegian special envoy to the peace process.

The Philippine delegation to the meeting was led by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza and panel member Rene Sarmiento while the NDF team was represented by its political consultant Jose Ma. Sison and negotiating panel head Fidel Agcaoili and Luis Jalandoni.

Dureza thanked the Royal Norwegian Government for hosting the formal talks in The Netherlands and for its full support being the third party facilitator of the peace talks. Jalandoni also extolled Norway for its efforts in the peace process.

Also present during the meeting were Secretary Rafael Mariano of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Representatives Henry Ong of Leyte and Ruby Sahali of Mindanao, and Undersecretary Adora Navarro of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

Sison and Agcaoili were joined by NDF senior adviser Satur Ocampo and members of the NDF negotiating panel couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, Juliet Sison, Connie Ledesma, Rafael Baylosis and Vicente Ladlad. –

Joint Statement on the Successful Fourth Round of Formal Talks between the GRP and NDF

Joint Statement on the Successful Fourth Round of Formal Talks Between the GRP and NDF a Apr 2017 by Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process on Scribd

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Closing Message of Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on the occassion of the Closing Ceremony of the Fourth Round of Peace Talks

6 April 2017 | Noordwilk Aan Zee, The Netherlands

We conclude today the fourth round of talks in exuberance knowing that it has contributed immensely to the quest for an enduring peace for our people. By this common ground, we forged yesterday an agreement on the Interim Joint Ceasefire. This is a significant milestone in the peace process given the divide that has characterized it for decades. Let this Interim Ceasefire progress towards a permanent one.

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Closing Statement on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER)

The Parties agree to conclude the unfinished distribution of land and do this for free for the landless and poor farmers, farm workers, and fisherfolk, with just compensation to owners. The immediate focus is the distribution of the remaining balance of the lands for distribution under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL).

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Camarines Norte bridge project opens, brings relief to citizens

CAMARINES NORTE – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) together with Provincial Local Government Units (PLGU) in Camarines Norte is conducting a one week turn-over activities of completed PAMANA projects in the province. These are the road projects in the municipalities of Mercedes, Basud, Labo and Santa Elena, including a Bridge in Caayunan, Basud.

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Joint ceasefire deal sealed

NOORDWIJK AAN ZEE – The panels of the government and the National Democratic Front on Wednesday sealed an agreement on an interim joint ceasefire leading to a comprehensive settlement of the 48-year insurgency.

Both parties also moved fast to conclude provisions on a draft Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) meant to address the root causes of the armed conflict.

The ceasefire takes effect as soon as the guidelines and ground rules are approved.

The guidelines will govern such areas as the presence of armed groups in local communities; creation of buffer zones; prohibited, hostile and provocative acts including the collection of revolutionary taxes; and undertaking of joint socio-economic projects.

Also contemplated in the agreement is the formation of a Joint Ceasefire Committee and the prospective role of a third party in ceasefire monitoring and other ceasefire mechanisms in the implementation of the ceasefire, including the handling of complaints and alleged violations.

“Matters regarding a single government authority and taxation shall be discussed and resolved in forging the Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms within the framework of the proposed Federal Republic of the Philippines.”

“The Joint Ceasefire Agreement shall be deemed interim until a permanent ceasefire agreement is forged pursuant to a Comprehensive Agreement on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces,” the agreement further provided.

The agreement was hammered out following marathon informal conversations among the panel members.

Signing for the GRP are Chairperson Silvestre Bello III, Panel members Mr. Hernani Braganza, Atty. Angela Trinidad-Librado, Atty. Rene Sarmiento, and Atty. Antonio Arellano

Signing for the NDF are Chairperson Mr. Fidel Agcaoili, Panel members Mr. Benito Tiamzon, Ms. Coni Ledesma, Ms. Julieta de Lima, and Mr. Asterio Palima.

Signing as observers are Presidential Peace Adviser Sec. Jesus G. Dureza, and NDF chief political consultant along with Panel adviser Eduardo Pamintuan, and Mr. Luis Jalandoni.

(Photo by Joey Fornier)

Agreement on Interim Joint Ceasefire signed on 5 April 2017 in Netherlands by Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process on Scribd

Opening statement of Secretary Jesus G. Dureza on the Fourth Round of Peace Talks

Opening statement of Secretary Jesus G. Dureza on the Fourth Round of Peace Talks
3 April 2017 | Radisson Blue Palace Hotel, Noordijk, The Netherlands

(Greetings and thanks to the Norwegian host, the CPP/NPA/NDF, the government panel, guests, media and participants.)

It is the wish of President Duterte to achieve a lasting, sustainable and principled peace.

Today we witness history. The talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF panel has never gone this far before. In this 4th round of peace talks, we shall tackle the heart and soul of the peace process, the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).
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Fourth Round of Peace Talks

The Government of the Philippines and National Democratic Front (NDF) will once again embark on a peaceful negotiation towards the end of armed conflict in the country. The fourth round of peace talks between the GRP Peace Panel and NDF will take place in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 2-6 April 2017.

Among the substantive agenda that will be discussed are the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reforms (CASER), and the bilateral ceasefire.

Witness the Fourth Round of GRP-NDF Peace Talks live from Amsterdam! Follow @PEACEGOVPH on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for live updates.

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Opening Statement of Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, Chairman, GRP Panel for Peace Negotiations with the CPP/NPA/NDF, on the occasion of the Fourth Round of Talks between the GRP and NDF

Opening Statement of Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, Chairman, GRP Panel for Peace Negotiations with the CPP/NPA/NDF, on the occasion of the Fourth Round of Talks between the GRP and NDF
3 April 2017 | Radisson Blue Palace Hotel, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Together with the Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jesus G. Dureza, and my Panel members, I earnestly welcome this Fourth Round of Peace Talks with extraordinary hope despite the challenges before our peace process.

Our discussion in the following days may prove to be difficult and exacting given the diversity of the positions taken by the Parties on the issues at hand. But we will not waiver from the task we embraced when we decided to restore in August last year the peace talks from its five-year impasse. We shall not fall into indifference that beset the past negotiations.
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