After more or less fifty years of conflict between the democratic government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Communist Party of the Philippines, and its armed the New Peoples’ Army (NPA), both sides seemed to have softened their stance and have taken the opportunity to sit down once more and attempt to talk about peace. This seeming acquiescence from both parties to try talking instead of continuing to do battle against each other was formalized in what is now known as the Joint Oslo Communique between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and
the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and witnessed by the Royal Norwegian Government.

In that statement they acknowledged that they are “Cognizant of the serious socioeconomic and
environmental issues, and the foreign security threats facing the country”, and that “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 Joint Statement further points out that, “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-NDF,” and that, “the parties acknowledge the deep-rooted socioeconomic 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.”

It also added that “Such framework, that will set the parameters for the final peace agreement, shall be agreed upon by both parties”. The Joint Statement concludes with, “Consequently, we envision
and look forward to a country where a united people can live in peace and prosperity”. Although it looks as if formal peace negotiations is about to start Presidential Adviser on peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. was quick to clarify that the joint statement simply jumpstarts the process for peace talks to start anew. In other words the signed Oslo Joint Communique confirms the intention of both parties to engage in a nonarmed conflict approach in
resolving their differences.
In hindsight we also take note that if the CPP-NPA-NDF is still a force to reckon with possessing numerous armed troops and enjoying the support and assistance of communities where they operate they might not have easily given in to sitting at the table and discussing peace given that
their original plan is the overthrow of the existing democratic government and replacing it with a communist regime. But since their forces are said to be slowly dwindling to nothing, per the assessment of the government due to the implementation of the whole of nation approach thru the
National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) established thru Executive Order No. 70 by former President Rodrigo Duterte, the CPP-NPANDF now seems eager to talk peace with the government.

On the part of the government the willingness of the CPP-NPANDF to sit down in the negotiating table can already be perceived as a victory and success of sorts in the implementation of the whole of nation approach to end communist insurgency in the country. Of course the negotiations for peace will certainly be a difficult process but in the end when a peace agreement shall have been signed it will be the government and administration of president Bongbong Marcos who will be acknowledged as having successfully ended the more than 50 years communist insurgency in the country. This is the time to hope and pray that the peace talks will finally succeed.

Amianan Balita Ngayon