GRP’s cancellation of peace talks unacceptable

The Government of the Republic of the Philippines peace panel’s one-sided cancelation of the 5th round of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is grossly unacceptable and disappointing to Filipino workers seeking for a just and lasting peace in the country.

Filipino workers have been looking forward a positive advance in the 5th round of the GRP-NDFP peace talks where discussions on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development are to be finished and the discourse on National Industrialization and Economic Development are to begin. After these discussions, the talks on socio-economic reforms can start to tackle the Rights of the Working people where our demands to end contractualization and for the implementation of a National Minimum Wage would be addressed.

We commend the NDFP panel for their positive outlook and efforts to push the talks forward. The NDFP has upheld our workers’ demands for regular jobs, living wages, free land distribution and free mass housing in the negotiations on socio-economic reforms and has shown utmost most sincerity and willingness to assert these demands against strong opposition from the GRP’s economic managers who been viciously promoting cheap, irregular and repressed labor in the country.

It is in the best interest of Filipino workers and people that the peace talks, especially the agreements on socio-economic reforms, move forward. We call on the GRP panel to reconsider its cancelation of participation in the talks and immediately get-back to the negotiating table. The GRP should also stop insolently setting unjust and capitulating preconditions that hinders the advancement of the peace talks that has relatively been moving forward for almost a year now.