Sep 232016

Peace negotiators of the government and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are set to hammer out parameters of what counts as ceasefire violations next month.

NDFP ceasefire committee panelist Tirso Alcantara disclosed this development, saying the agreement on Oct. 28 would be the takeoff point before the peace panels can finally work out a bilateral ceasefire.

While the NDFP confirmed the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process’ Wednesday statement that no violent encounters have been reported since peace talks resumed last month, consultants said violations of the separately declared ceasefires have occurred.

“What we’ll talk about on Oct. 28, we will consolidate the unilateral ceasefires so that would serve as the basis for what should be done,” Alcantara, said, while clarifying “that’s not yet the mutual bilateral ceasefire.”

“It’s simply a consolidation of what violations have occurred, what should be done based on the consolidation of the previously declared ceasefires,” he said in a Friday forum.

The peace panels have earlier agreed to finalize ceasefire mechanisms in 60 days, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said on Aug. 29 after the conclusion of the first round of peace talks in Oslo.

Alan Jazmines, vice chair of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms, said that even with the ceasefires in place, military and paramilitary forces have continued to disturb local civilian communities.

“The problem remains. That needs to be stopped,” Jazmines said.

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