Prof. Sison: On the question of preconditions in peace negotiations

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The Hague Joint Declaration, framework agreement of the GRP-NDFP negotiations, requires that no side can impose on the other side any precondition that negates the character and purpose of peace negotiations. For instance, the GRP cannot precondition the peace negotiations with the surrender of the NDFP.

The GRP and NDFP as negotiating parties must comply with agreements already signed and approved by them, such as The Hague Joint Declaration, JASIG, Joint Agreement on the Reciprocal Working Committees, CARHRIHL and others. In resuming the peace negotiations, these agreements must be reaffirmed and followed. Obstacles and hindrances to the peace negotiations must be done way with.

The conflicting yet negotiating parties bring different positions on issues to the table in order to thresh out the differences and arrive at agreements. Having forged CARHRIHL, their most important task is to make the comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

Since October 4, 2017 the back channel teams of the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels have succeeded in drafting the general amnesty proclamation for the release of all political prisoners listed by the NDFP, the agreement on coordinated unilateral ceasefires with a Joint National Ceasefire Committee and the parts on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) and National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED) of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

To ensure the continuity of the peace negotiations, there are mechanisms for submitting complaints about incidents or any issue deemed important by any side. The principals in the negotiations can avail of their respective panels and the Joint Monitoring Committee to present complaints of any kind and seek the appropriate response.###

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