By ILOCOS NETWORK FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
June 13, 2018
We welcome the recent announcement of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on the resumption of the formal peace negotiations before the end of June. Both panels also deserve recognition for their fortitude to iron-out issues stalling the negotiations during the back-channel talks.
Our network believes that the “stand down” agreement and possibility of an interim ceasefire are a bold and noble move from both parties. The sincerity and strict compliance on these pacts are necessary to ensure the negotiations smooth proceeding.
However, peace does not only mean the absence of armed clashes. Hostilities on the ground are mere reflection of diametrically opposed views on the economic and social policies that pressed people to organize and arm themselves against what they view as injustice perpetuated by the state. One such matter is the access and utilization of our country’s natural resources.
On the other hand, peace negotiations allow both sides to find common ground that may or may not end the armed rebellion but will definitely provide benefits for the people in the course of pursuing just and lasting peace.
Our group believes that to conserve national patrimony and protect the environment, we must support the pursuit for a just and lasting peace. With the fifth round of talks and its principal subject, the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), we are hopeful that environmental concerns will be thoroughly addressed.# nordis.net