More than 100 church leaders called on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to continue the government’s negotiations on peace and order with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF).
In an article from Businessmirror.com, the consensus was arrived at in the 6th Ecumenical Church Leaders Summit on Peace last August 8 to 9, 2017 where there are 130 participants joining the call.
The Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) perceived the recent response of the government to cancel the fifth rounds of talks as something disheartening even as the NDF pushed for it.
The declaration of President Duterte’s all out war against terrorist-rebel groups and the recent attacks conducted by the New People’s Army (NPA) drew alarming concerns from the participants of the three-day event. The participants also noted that the violence have spilled over to other parts of the country where most of the victims are civilians from indigenous communities.
During the summit, it was speculated that the positive outcomes of the past four formal talks regarding from the Comprehensive Agreement on Social Economic Reforms (Caser) to a bilateral cease-fire and the reinstituting of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) would only be downplayed by the scrapping of the fifth negotiations.
Furthermore, it was also sustained that the release of political prisoners and prisoners of terrorist groups like the New People’s Army (NPA) should be resolved.
Also, the three-day affair also sought the implementation of measures that would put an end to the issues concerning indigenous people and their communities.
Organizations where the participating leaders came from included Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Ecumenical Bishops’ Forum (EBF), National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) and the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP).