The government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) will return to the negotiating table.
This had been the agreement during the informal talks held by both parties on March 10 to 11 in Utrecht, the Netherlands together with the royal Norwegian government as the third party facilitator.
In a joint statement, both sides ratified all bilateral agreements and statements made in the previous peace negotiations including the Hague joint declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
In relation to this, all NDF peace consultants and other personalities included in the peace talks will temporarily have freedom since they are protected by the JASIG.
This would mean freedom for Ariel Arbitrario who was arrested in Davao City in February.
The Communist Party of the Philippines’ armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) will also release their political prisoners.
Apart from these, the GPH and the NDF have agreed to form an interim bilateral ceasefire agreement.
Under the said agreement, both parties will consider the issues that have been brought up since August 2016 until February 2017.
These include the alleged violations on the unilateral ceasefire declared by both parties.
In relation to this, the government and the CPP are expected to declare a ceasefire again before proceeding with the fourth round of the peace talks.
The fourth round of the peace talks is set on April 2 to 6, but the venue is yet to be selected.
Meanwhile, the fifth round of peace talks will be held in June 2017. – Mirasol Abogadil | UNTV News and Rescue