The Negotiating Panel of the NDFP extends its deep appreciation to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for acknowledging the declaration of temporary ceasefire by the Communist Party of the Philippines with the GRP in the light of the fight against COVID-19.
In his acknowledgement, Secretary-General Guterres stressed that the ceasefire declaration of the CPP serves as an example across the world as it faces the global threat of COVID-19.
NDFP Panel chairperson Fidel Agcaoili stressed, in his letter to Guterres, that the People’s Democratic Government in the municipalities, villages, communities and work places under its governance, continues to respond to the threat of Covid-19 and to take measures to ensure the people’s health, well-being and welfare.
Agcaoili also told Guterres that the NDFP is willing to return to the negotiating table with the GRP to resume the peace talks and to find a long-lasting solution to the roots of the armed conflict in the Philippines, specifically to address the people’s concerns for meaningful social and economic reforms.
He assured the UN Secretary General that the revolutionary forces will remain in the frontlines, alongside Filipino doctors, nurses, health workers and personnel, in the war against Covid-19 for the benefit of the people.
Moreover, Agcaoili strongly supports the statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, urging governments to release “every person detained without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners and others detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views”, and to protect the health and safety of people in detention and other closed facilities, as part of overall efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Some UN member states have already released prisoners such as Iran and Egypt.
The NDFP Peace Panel together with many human rights organizations have called for the immediate release of its NDFP consultants and other political prisoners especially the sick and elderly among them.#
Fidel V. Agcaoili
NDFP Negotiating Panel