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A Bridge of Hope

A statement by the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) congratulating the incoming GPH peace panel
June 18, 2016

The Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP),* the largest ecumenical formation of church leaders in the country, congratulates the incoming Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), for successfully concluding their preliminary talks in Oslo, Norway, with the help of the third party facilitator, the Royal Norwegian Government. Their initial talks produced a Joint Statement indicating that the two parties will resume the formal peace talks on the third week of July, 2016.

PEPP is elated over the fact that bridges are being built by both parties in order to have a just and enduring peace in our country. PEPP is inspired by the optimism generated by the parties’ meeting as reflected in their Joint Statement. It is a bridge of hope that principled negotiations may bear fruit and address the roots of the armed conflict.

The Joint Statement said that the formal peace talks will take on the following: affirmation of previously signed agreements; accelerated process for negotiations; reconstitution of the Joint Immunity and Safety Guarantees (JASIG); amnesty proclamation; and, the mode of interim ceasefire.

The Joint Statement also pointed out that the incoming GPH panel will recommend the release of NDFP consultants and political prisoners to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

As peace advocates guided by the teachings of Jesus Christ, the prince of peace, PEPP enjoins the Filipino people to support this initiative from the GPH and the NDFP. Let us pray for its success.

Issued and Signed this day 18th day of June 2016.

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