Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bataoil joins final peace talk between gov’t and reds

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
Pangasinan Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil joined the government panel for the 3rd and final peace talk with the communist in Rome, Italy.

PEACE TALK. Pangasinan Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil (3rd from right) and fellow 
members of the House of Representatives during the third and final negotiation between

the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and National Democratic Front in Rome, Italy. Bataoil and fellow lawmakers attended the meeting just like the second meeting in Norway in October last year as observer so that whatever talking points in the concluded peace talk brokered by Norway that needed legislation would be  expedited in Congress because of their presence.
The solon together with his eight fellow representatives from Congress were observers that could easily expedite any legislation whatever agreements concluded by the Government Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front.
The contentious issues that needed legislation in that peace talks in Europe were those brought by the twin agenda on socio-economic reforms (SER) and political and constitutional reforms (PCR).

SER includes a sovereign, self-reliant and industrialized national economy; protected and rehabilitated environment, just compensation for affected populations, and sustainable development; social, economic and cultural rights of the working people to be upheld and discrimination to be eliminated; sustainable living incomes for all; affordable, accessible and quality social services and utilities; sovereign foreign economic policies; trade relations supporting rural development and national industrialization; monetary and fiscal policy regime for national development; to name a few.
PER discusses national sovereignty and self-determination; economic sovereignty and national patrimony; economic sovereignty and national patrimony; self-determination; national minorities, indigenous peoples, and Bangsamoro; social justice; form or system of government; electoral and political party reforms; judicial reform  fiscal policy and management; to name a few.
The six days final negotiations started last January 19, 2017.
The first and second negotiation between the GRP and the NDF were in August and October last year.
Before the six days peace negotiation attended by a large delegation from the GRP that included Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, the NDF through their members like Joma Sison and Fidel Agcaoili have been pressing the government to release first the remaining 400 communist prisoners still detained in the Philippine jails as condition for the continuation of the third talk.

"We clearly state today that the release of the above-mentioned political prisoners should not be seen as a mere confidence-building measure or a gift to the NDFP. It is an obligation of the GRP under CARHRIHL (Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law)," Agcaoili said
Agcaoili declared that the political prisoners should not be treated as trump cards to extract concessions from the NDFP.
“Such conduct is bound to further erode mutual trust and confidence," he said, referring to GRP’s President Rodrigo Duterte repeated pronouncement that he will no longer release political prisoners unless a signed bilateral cease fire agreement is delivered to him.

Aside from Bataoil, a former two -star police general, the House delegation also includes Deputy Speaker Bai Sandra Sema; Representatives Reynaldo Umali (justice committee); Rene Relampagos (agrarian reform); and members of the special committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity like Carlos Isagani Zarate, Jesus Sacdalan, Jose Christopher Belmonte, Maximo Rodriguez, Nancy Catamco, and Gary Alejano.

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