On November 23, 2023, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) affirmed and signed a Joint Statement, to wit:
“Cognizant of the serious socioeconomic 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 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 socioeconomic 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.
Consequently, we envision and look forward to a country where a united people can live in peace and prosperity.”
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 GRP and NDFP with the facilitation of the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG). 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.
It was signed by the GRP represented by the Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Ernesto F. Lagdameo Jr.; Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr.; and Gen Emmanuel T. Bautista (Ret.) and by the NDFP represented by National Executive Council Member Luis G. Jalandoni; Negotiating Panel Interim Chairperson Julieta de Lima; and Panel Member Coni K. Ledesma. The signing was witnessed by the RNG Special Envoy Kristina Lie Revheim.
Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide of the RNG graced the signing ceremony, which was held at the City Hall of Oslo and affirmed the continuing commitment of the RNG as Third-Party Facilitator. For their part, both Secretary Antonio Ernesto F. Lagdameo Jr. and Luis G. Jalandoni expressed optimism as to the positive path to peace that both parties shall now work on. #