Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza over the weekend said that “there is no ceasefire in place yet until enforceable grounds rules are agreed upon” by the negotiating panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
Both parties had agreed on an Interim Joint Ceasefire (IJC).
However, the parties must set the ground rules to render it implementable.
Dureza explained that the guidelines should govern the presence of armed elements of either party in local communities, the designation of buffer zones, the definition of prohibited, hostile and provocative acts, and the possible creation of a neutral monitoring body.
Even as the ceasefire has yet to take effect, he said, the parties agreed to designate the Chief Negotiators Secretary Silvestre Bello III for GRP and Fidel Agcaoili for the NDFP to ensure a peaceful environment conducive to the continuation of the peace process.
According to Dureza, the Ceasefire Committee has commenced discussions on the ceasefire ground rules in the Netherlands and will continue without delay when the members of the committee return to the Philippines.
“The interim ceasefire shall become permanent when the Final Peace Agreement shall have been signed, which will usher the end of hostilities and disposition of forces,” Dureza said. (PNA)