NDFP corrects GRP’s “foul and erroneous” statement on CASER “snag”

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National Democratic Front of the Philippines Peace (NDF) Reciprocal Working Committee on Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (RWC-CASER) vice-chairperson Alan Jazmines corrected the “foul and erroneous” statements issued yesterday by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and by the supervising peace panel member of the GRP’s side in the RWC-CASER, Hernani Braganza.

The OPAPP and Braganza said that the current GRP-NDF peace talks taking place in Oslo “hit a snag”, accordingly after the NDF “refused to include” nine (9) major “outcomes” that the GRP panel wanted to include in the agreement.

The said “outcomes” proposed by the GRP’s side in the RWC-CASER include “poverty eradication”, “environment and climate change”, “globally competitive economy”, “adequate and quality social services”, “reduced inequalities”, “peaceful rural communities”, “food security”, “living incomes” and “gender equality and representation.”

NDF RWC-SER chair Julie De Lima had earlier stated that those nine “outcomes” proposed by the GRP’s side on CASER were mere enumerations – actually lifted from the NDF’s lengthy draft proposals– the GRP’s side on CASER still had no elaborations at all to explain the content and expectations of those nine “outcomes”.

“On the other hand, the NDF’s side on CASER had already submitted lengthy comprehensive drafts on the “bases, scope and applicability” and substantive discussions on various aspects of social and economic reforms, including on the subjects of agrarian reform; national industrialization; environmental protection; rights of the working people; foreign economic and trade relations; monetary and fiscal policies,” Jazmines said.

Jazmines added that the NDF’s side on CASER consider these as the “solutions that seek to address the roots of the long sufferings of the mass of the Filipino people and relatedly the long-standing armed conflict in the country.”

“The NDF’s side in the RWC-CASER did not just throw away the nine (9) major “outcomes” that the GRP panel proposed as “solutions”, but instead made efforts to incorporate, in the NDF’s long well-prepared lengthy outline on CASER proposals, a series of edited versions of the nine “outcomes” proposed by the GRP Peace panel on CASER, and included such in a joint outline of a comprehensive CASER proposal as the working draft of the discussions on social and economic reforms,” says Jazmines.

“After a couple more of editing sessions, the two negotiating panels on CASER agreed to a final outline on a comprehensive CASER proposal,” he said.

“This, the NDF considers as an indication of initial success in the start of the CASER negotiations,” Jazmines said.

Based on such an outline, further and more substantive panel-to-panel talks between the NDF and GRP are scheduled to take place in the next several months. #

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