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Deles welcomes release of NDFP consultants

Manila, July 29 – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles lauded the release from detention of detained rebel leader Jovencio Balweg and two National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultants Maria Luisa Purcray of Agusan del Norte and Jaime Soledad of Leyte, following the dismissal of their cases.

"The government has always maintained its commitment to this peace process. We look at this as a bonus that favorably affects the government's current negotiations with Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army - National Democratic Front of the Philippines." Deles said.

The Government of the Philippines (GPH) Peace Panel for talks with CPP-NPA-NDF chaired by Alexander Padilla also acknowledged the releases. "We are appreciative of the efforts made by other government agencies in this matter."

Padilla also stressed that the release of the rebel leaders is part of the confidence-building measures initiated by the GPH Panel and a show of the Government's commitment to the peace process.

In the Oslo Joint Statement of 21 February 2011, the GPH Panel committed to “continue to work on appropriate measures to effect the expeditious release of all or most of the fourteen (14) JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees)-listed NDFP consultants and personalities before the second round of the formal talks, subject to verification as provided in the JASIG Supplemental Agreement dated June 26, 1996, or on the basis of humanitarian and other practical reasons.”

The GPH and CPP-NPA-NDFP Reciprocal Working Committees on Socio-Economic Reforms are scheduled to meet in August. The Parties have agreed to a time-frame of 18-months to three years to reach agreement on three remaining agenda items that will complete the process: socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and end of hostilities and disposition of forces. #

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