GPH President Aquino’s failure to comply with the agreement made by Special Representatives of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on December 18, 2012 at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in The Hague is most regrettable. Both sides had agreed on a ceasefire from December 20, 2012 until January 15, 2013. This agreement, formalized in a Press Communique authenticated by Royal Norwegian Ambassador Ture Lundh, memorialized the meeting of the Special Representatives of both Parties in pursuance of the special track in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.
In accordance with that agreement and upon recommendation of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-CC) issued its ceasefire declaration on December 20, 2012 for a ceasefire in sync with a GPH ceasefire from December 20, 2012 until January 15, 2013. Without the corresponding GPH declaration of ceasefire until January 15, 2013, the NDFP Negotiating Panel can only recommend a ceasefire until January 2, 2013, the end date announced by the GPH in its declaration of suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO).
Failure by the Aquino government to respect the agreement made by its Special Representatives led by Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Ronald Llamas and including GPH Negotiating Panel Chairperson Alexander Padilla and also by the NDFP Special Representatives is a major loss of opportunity to move the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations forward. The Aquino government should honor the commitment made by its Special Representatives. It should give appropriate consideration to the formal authentication of the press communique by Royal Norwegian Ambassador Ture Lundh and the sincere efforts of the Royal Norwegian Government to move forward the special track and the regular track of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.