Opening Statement of Luis G. Jalandoni on the Oslo Joint Communique
We are pleased to announce and confirm on the part of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) that we have formally signed a Joint Statement with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) on November 23, 2023 in low-key ceremonies in Oslo, Norway with the presence of top officials of the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) which serves as Third Party Facilitator.
After exactly six years to the day when the doors for formal peace negotiations were officially shut closed by the former GRP President, the Parties are again talking even as the armed conflict continues.
The Joint Statement is a product of almost two years of informal discussions, workshops and dialogue that started with the discreet initiative of the GRP emissary and which was positively welcomed and highly appreciated by the NDFP Chief Politiical Consultant, the late Prof. Jose Maria “Joma” Sison whose ideas, insights and inspiration continue to guide us.
The Joint Statement, which speaks for itself, is significant as it reaffirms the imperative and value of peace negotiations for a principled and honorable political settlement of the armed conflict with the aim of “achieving the relevant socioeconomic and political reforms towards a just and lasting peace” for our people.
Hence, after a long hiatus, the Parties will again formally go back to the negotiating table even as we build on past achievements as well as learn from lessons alike.
The NDFP for its part is always open and willing to talk to the GRP if this will be for the interest and benefit of the Filipino people.
We shall ensure the bilateral nature of the negotiations, reaffirm binding agreements, and negotiate on a framework of principles that will be mutually acceptable to both Parties.
We shall earnestly pursue the substantive agenda that will provide concrete benefits for the people, keeping in mind always that the roots of the armed conflict must be resolved.
We shall work for the removal of impediments that are incompatible with the aims and purposes of peace negotiations in good faith or which do not engender goodwill and build confidence favorable to it.
The road to a just and lasting peace is long and even tortuous. The journey will be challenging. The final destination will not be easy to reach. But we have to traverse that path because the people want and deserve it.
So with this Joint Statement, we shall come back to the negotiating table with renewed impetus yet with guarded hope that the peace process can provide an important route for fundamental reforms for the interest and benefit of our people.