The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the political-wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the New People’s Army (NPA), have agreed to a principled and peaceful resolution to the armed conflict and end to the armed struggle, recognizing the need for our nation to unite in the face of serious socioeconomic, environmental, and foreign security issues.
In a four-paragraph Joint Statement signed on Nov 23, 2023, which was released by Malacanan through the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (PAPRU) Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. on Nov 28, 2023, the parties stated: “Cognizant of the serious socio-economic and environmental issues, and the foreign security threats facing the country, the parties recognize the need to unite as a nation in order to urgently address these challenges and resolve the reasons for the armed conflict.”
“The parties agree to a principled and peaceful resolution of the armed conflict. Resolving the roots of the armed conflict and ending the armed struggle shall pave the way for the transformation of the CPP-NPA-NDFP,” the Joint Statement, which was signed at the City Hall of Oslo, Norway, read.
Both sides have agreed to engage in dialogues in order to come together on a peace and transformation framework that focuses on further addressing the socio-economic and political drivers of the armed conflict and finally ending the CPP-NPA-NDFP’s more than five-decades-old armed struggle.
“The parties acknowledge the deep-rooted socio-economic and political grievances and agree to come up with a framework that sets the priorities for the peace negotiation with the aim of achieving the relevant socio-economic and political reforms towards a just and lasting peace. Such framework, that will set the parameters for the final peace agreement, shall be agreed upon by both parties,” the two sides said.
“Consequently, we envision and look forward to a country where a united people can live in peace and prosperity,” the parties added.
The Joint Statement was signed by Secretary Antonio Ernesto F. Lagdameo Jr., Special Assistant to the President, who represented the government. Luis G. Jalandoni, a member of the National Executive Council of the NDFP, signed for the communist group.
Signing as witnesses were Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., and Gen. (Ret) Emmanuel Bautista for the GRP, and Julieta de Lima, the Interim Chairperson of the negotiating panel of the NDFP, and Coni K. Ledesma, a member of the NDFP negotiating panel for the NDFP. Also signing was Special Representative Kristina Lie Revheim on behalf of the Royal Norwegian Government. Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide of the RNG graced the ceremony.
According to the Oslo Joint Communique, the Joint Statement is “a product of a series of informal discussions held in the Netherlands and Norway starting in 2022 between the emissaries of the government and NDFP with the facilitation of the Royal Norwegian Government. The Parties recognize the initiative of former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista (Ret) which was personally welcomed by then NDFP Chief Political Consultant Prof. Jose Ma. Sison.”
Galvez said the two sides have come to an understanding to end the decades-old armed conflict in the country.
“Both sides have affirmed their sincere desire to achieve national reconciliation and unity under the Marcos administration, agreeing to resolve and further address socioeconomic and political issues towards achieving a peaceful end to the armed conflict and armed struggle of the CPP-NPA-NDFP,” he said.
“I echo the President’s strong aspiration for peace when he declared in his inaugural speech: We all want peace in our land. You and your children want a good chance of a better life, in a safer, more prosperous country. All that is within reach of a hard-working, warm, and giving race. Your dreams are mine. Your hopes are my hopes,” he said. ###