Sen. Jamby Madrigal, NDF urge: Resumption of peace talks

News Philippines Nov 17, 2008 at 1:07 pm
FROM left: Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Senator Maria Ana Madrigal and Luis G. Jalandoni, signing joint statement with (standing, left to right) Atty. Romando Artes, Deputy Chief Legislative Officer to Senator Madrigal; Atty. J. Gary Jimenez, Chief Legislative Officer; and NDFP’s Coni Ledesma, Fidel V. Agcaoili and Danilo Borjal.  PHOTO: NDFP

FROM left: Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Senator Maria Ana Madrigal and Luis G. Jalandoni, signing joint statement with (standing, left to right) Atty. Romando Artes, Deputy Chief Legislative Officer to Senator Madrigal; Atty. J. Gary Jimenez, Chief Legislative Officer; and NDFP’s Coni Ledesma, Fidel V. Agcaoili and Danilo Borjal. PHOTO: NDFP

AMSTERDAM–Amsterdam, Philippine Senator Jamby Madrigal and Luis G. Jalandoni of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines signed Wednesday (Oct. 12) a historic joint statement, pushing for the resumption of formal talks and acceleration of peace negotiations between the armed revolutionaries of the NDFP and the Manila government within the presidential term of Gloria M. Arroyo, or even after.

The joint statement, hammered out after two days of intensive discussion between the two sides, called for the formation of a Technical Working Group which would assist “in hastening the resolution of the remaining items in the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations” for the purpose of enacting legislation. Sen. Madrigal and Jalandoni agreed that such a process would demonstrate that “it is possible to make mutually satisfactory agreements for the common benefit of the Filipino people and to produce the bases for accelerated negotiations and agreements.”

Also present during the discussions and signing were Prof. Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant, and Fidel V. Agcaoili, NDFP Negotiating Panel member.

Senator Madrigal and the NDFP Negotiating Panel agreed that the Philippines is in a grave social crisis and that the resumption of the peace negotiations is urgently needed. They agreed that the negotiations “must adress the roots of the armed conflict and forge agreements on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms in order to effect a just and lasting peace”. They also expressed common concern about “the Arroyo regime’s wanton corruption, gross and systematic violation of human rights and subservience to foreign vested interests.”

The government of Gloria M. Arroyo in Manila has been refusing to continue peace negotiations with the NDFP, ignoring demands from opposition political parties and the powerful Christian Churches in the Philippines. It has instead stepped up armed attacks against the territories of the New People’s Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines, and unleashed paramilitary death squads against legal opposition parties and organizations.

One of the leaders of the crusade against government corruption and a staunch promoter of social reforms in the Philippines, Sen. Jamby Madrigal currently chairs the Senate Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation. She is also the chairperson of the Cultural Communities Committee and the Youth, Women and Family Relations Committee in the Philippine Senate.

(PRESS RELEASE)