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Marilou Aguirre-Tuburan, in an article for Davao Today, writes on the recent developments of the peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the government of the Philippines:
Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte suggested of a “power sharing” between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) instead of a “coalition government” that was earlier proposed by the communist movement.
“Coalition is a very broad word,” Duterte told the media during the celebration of the 44th anniversary of the re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26 in a remote sub-village here. “Maybe they can start with power sharing,” he added.
The NDFP sent a confidential letter to President Noynoy Aquino last year offering a “special track” for the peace talks, including the formation of a “Council of National Unity” which will have equal representation from both parties.
Last December 17 to 18, representatives of the NDFP and the GPH held a special meeting at The Hague, Netherlands where they agreed to carry on the discussion on common declaration of national unity and just peace; the upholding of national independence, democracy and human rights; the committee of national unity, peace and development; agrarian reform, rural development and national industrialization; and truce. The special meeting was facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government.
On December 22, the GPH peace panel reportedly said it “will never agree to establish a coalition government or a power-sharing arrangement” with the NDFP as it denied of any discussion of a possible coalition. It also denied that the NDFP made such an offer.
During the special meeting in The Hague last week, both parties agreed of a nationwide ceasefire from midnight of December 20, 2012 to January 15, 2013.
“I am happy and I hope it will succeed. I just pray that something will come out of it,” Duterte said as he lamented that, “There’s always a talk but there’s just no concrete result.”
Duterte also said he could have suggested or do more with regards to the peace talks between the NDFP and GPH, “But the problem is my power is limited within my city so I cannot do it.” Last year, he turned down the offer made by the NDFP peace panel for him to be one of its resource persons, saying “they are stopping me, then I am going to refrain.”
“Dili ka moingon nga kanang inyong armas, ilabay na na. Lisud na. [You can’t just tell (the other party) to lay down (their) arms. That would be difficult.] You can’t even go one notch higher (of the peace talks with that),” he noted.