Photo by Patmei Ruivivar

The peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) got off to a good start Tuesday morning (Oslo time) as negotiators from both parties agreed on three of five substantive issues, including a formal commitment to accelerate the process of forging a political settlement during term of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The negotiating panels only took four hours, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., to settle minor conflicting positions on the three substantive issues during a marathon session that was punctuated on several instances by laughter and light banter.

The three major issues that were settled are the:  affirmation of previously-signed agreements, reconstitution of the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) list; and accelerated process for negotiations, including the timeline for the completion of the remaining substantive agenda for the talks: socio-economic reforms; political and economic reforms; and end of hostilities and disposition of forces, including the Joint Monitoring Committee.

"It was a frank and honest discussion among friends. We are candid with each other, knowing that we share the common agenda of peace," said Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, concurrent chair of the government panel.

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GRP, NDF Panels okays 3 of 5 substantive issues GRP, NDF Panels okays 3 of 5 substantive issues Reviewed by Unknown on 24 August Rating: 5

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