By RAYMUND B. VILLANUEVA
OSLO, Norway — The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panels have already agreed on six major issues barely into the fourth day of their scheduled five-day talks.
Moving with surprising dispatch, both panels already initialed their joint drafts of the affirmation of previously signed agreements, reconstitution of NDFP’s list of Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig)-protected personnel, acceleration of the peace negotiations, the mode of interim ceasefire, general amnesty of NDFP-listed political detainees, and the convening of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
All six agreements are currently being combined and will be issued as a Joint Statement at the closing ceremony scheduled at eleven o’clock in the morning of Friday, August 26.
“We are happy with the results of the talks now. These six points are the products of the talks. And the atmosphere is great. Very friendly and cordial,” NDFP chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni said.
For his part, GRP negotiating panel chairperson Silvestre Bello III said, “It turned out that both panels did not have many differences in opinion, so we reached an early consensus.”
Bello said they will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the issuance of a general amnesty to all political detainees included in the list submitted by the NDFP.
Both panels have also agreed to hold their next round of formal talks in the second week of October in this city.