By Yas Ocampo
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said it would continue to push for peace despite being surprised by a departure from backchannel agreements reached last month between itself and the Philippine Government.
NDFP negotiating panel chair Fidel Agcaoili, in a statement March 31 assured the NDFP would adjust to the change.
Agcaoili said the NDFP was willing to be flexible on the terms regarding the bilateral ceasefire.
The NDFP said it was surprised that the government had not yet restored its unilateral ceasefire, despite agreeing on it with representatives from the party’s negotiating team last month.
“The GRP’s last minute announcement not to restore its unilateral ceasefire constitutes an unexpected departure from the March 11 backchannel agreement where both parties agreed to simultaneously reinstate their respective unilateral ceasefires before the start on April 2 of the fourth round of peace talks,” Agcaoili said.
He added that both parties “agreed to this measure in the interim in order to move the talks forward and improve the atmosphere for negotiations after the impasse last February.”
Both teams are headed to the Netherlands this week for the fourth round of talks.