By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) welcomed the declaration of ceasefire by both the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) saying peace is very much needed in these trying times.
“The PEPP appreciates the commitment of both parties to halt hostilities, even for just a brief period, in order to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” PEPP said in a statement Thursday.
“Peace, however fragile, is very much needed in these trying times,” it added.
The NDFP earlier approved a unilateral ceasefire starting March 26 until April 15.
This, after the United Nations called for a global truce among armed groups involved in hostilities so all countries can focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Duterte also declared a unilateral ceasefire, beginning last March 19 and will last until April 15.
The PEPP expressed hope that the unilateral ceasefire declarations will be faithfully observed by each party, especially on the ground.
It is also the hope of the group that the brief ceasefire will allow both parties to reconsider pursuing their peace talks in the future.
“We hope that after this predicament, the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations will prosper and peace will be had by all in our country,” said PEPP.
The PEPP is a platform for five church institutions/groups working for a just and enduring peace by supporting the peace process between the GRP-NDFP.
It’s members are the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), and the Ecumenical Bishops’ Forum (EBF).
Read more: AFP, CPP heed UN call for global ceasefire