Security exec tells pro-commies: Oslo Joint Communique only paves the way for exploratory talks
Updated: Dec 7, 2023
December 07, 2023
The Oslo Joint Communique is just a prelude to the possibility of conducting formal peace negotiations to finally end the local communist armed conflict, National Security Council Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya clarified amid reported demands of “preconditions” being set by pro-communist groups even before the exploratory talks even start.
Speaking at the virtual press conference Wednesday (Dec. 6) hosted by the Integrated Communication Operations Center (ICOC), the media bureau of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Malaya pointed out that the communique was anchored on a promise made by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), to abandon the armed struggle.
“I’d like to emphasize here the fact that the Oslo Communique came about because of the promise or the commitment of the NDF…to end or abandon the armed struggle," he said.
According to Malaya, the significance of the Oslo Joint Communique lies in its function as a preliminary framework designed to possibly pave the way for peace negotiations. Rather than a standalone resolution, it serves as a foundation for future discussions geared toward achieving sustainable peace and stability in conflict affected areas.
Meanwhile, National Secretariat Executive Director Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr. urged all relevant parties to reflect more on mutually agreed upon mechanisms to make the exploratory talks succeed.
“The way ahead is to encourage a national debate, more discussions on the possibility of peace talks so that we could come up with the best design of a program for our peace efforts,” he said.
Malaya explained that the Marcos administration's comprehensive approach, including localized peace efforts that have shown success, to the recent declaration of amnesty via a presidential proclamation and the initiation of exploratory talks, are all aimed at ending armed conflict.
“From the very beginning, the Marcos administration exhausted all avenues to achieve peace, national reconciliation and unity. And these avenues include localized peace engagements as has been shown to be very successful, the grant of amnesty which was just declared to a proclamation recently and now even exploratory talks to end the armed struggle which according to the Joint Communique will pave the way for the transformation of the CPP-NPA-NDF”, Malaya said.
He noted that NTF-ELCAC aims to use the Oslo Joint Communique as a springboard for constructive engagement provided the CPP-NPA-NDF show sincerity and seriousness.
“It can represent a significant turning point in the journey for mutual understanding, peacemaking, and a possible end to hostilities if the CTGs are truly sincere in their promise to abandon armed struggle,” he said.
Malaya mentioned that one of the government’s primary objectives is to convene and formulate a potential framework that would establish the guiding principles leading towards a prospective peace settlement with the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“We wish to emphasize that what is happening in Oslo as part of the Joint Communique is merely an exploratory discussion to come together to develop a possible framework that will set the parameters towards a possible final peace settlement with the CPP-NPA-NDF,” he reiterated.
Malaya added that entering into these exploratory talks demands a cautious approach. He also said that the absence of preconditions agreed upon by the government during the signing of the Joint Oslo Communique reflects a deliberate and prudent stance on the part of the Marcos, Jr. administration.
“Definitely, we need to enter into these exploratory talks with caution and I think that is the reason why there were no preconditions agreed to by the government when the Oslo Joint Communique was signed,” he said.
“The road to sustainable peace is laden with challenges. Achieving a resolution requires patience, perseverance, and a genuine willingness from the CPP-NPA-NDF to engage in meaningful dialogue,” he added. ###
NTF-ELCAC MEDIA BUREAU
Ref: Joel M. Sy Egco