TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma, who represent the National Democratic Front (NDF) panel in the ongoing peace negotiations with representatives of the Philippine Government (GPH), have expressed optimism that a settlement for lasting peace will be forged before the end of the Duterte administration.
The couple who attended a peace symposium here hosted by Tuguegarao Archdiocese Sergio Utleg recently said that the Duterte administration is fair and sincere in the ongoing peace negotiation while admitting that none were successful in several attempts since 1986.
Archbishop Utleg said that the symposium, attended by different sectors and religious groups in Cagayan province, was held to raise public awareness on the ongoing peace talks and its substantive issues and help build a peace constituency in the country.
Both NDF panel members the Tiamzons explained that the peace negotiation is anchored on human rights and international humanitarian law, socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and end of hostilities and disposition of forces.
“We are passionate in dealing with the government negotiators as we want peace in the country. We are pushing for several development programs that the government should adhere to and implement in order for us to end violence and eradicate poverty and injustices which are the root causes of armed conflict and insurgencies all over the country,” the Tiamzons said.
In the country’s development program, the NDF also wants to pursue with the government, land reform, cooperativism, agricultural modernization and national industrialization.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd, the GPH representative, said the panel members are also pushing the peace process forward to attain its objective with sincerity from both parties.