Government remains open for resumption of formal talks with communist rebels — Palace

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, June 21 (PNA) – The Philippine government is still open to the possibility of the resumption of formal talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National People’s Army-National Democratic Front- (CPP-NPA-NDF), a Palace official said on Sunday.

”We will continue to be open and interested for discussion and resumption of formal talks,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio ‘Sonny’ Coloma on Sunday said in a Radyo ng Bayan interview.

Coloma said the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Teresita Quinto Deles and undersecretary Manny Bautista joined other government officials in greeting a rebel returnee last June 3 in Loreto, Agusan del sur.

”They also witnessed the turnover of some hand guns and ammunitions surrendered by the rebels,” Coloma said.

The government has been pushing for the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a codification of two peace agreements – Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to pass the BBL during the third regular session of the 16th Congress after the state of the nation address or SONA of President Benigno Aquino III next month. (PNA)