The National Council of Churches in the Philippines renews its call for the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to proceed with the formal peace talks. The peace talks is a response to the yearning for peace and justice by the long-suffering majority in this country. To delay it further is to pass on a responsibility which was within the means of the present to resolve, display the lack of will to deal with the barriers to a just and lasting peace and betray the faith in the Filipino.
Many agreements and resolutions have already been signed by both parties. Among them are The Hague Declaration, the Breukelen Joint Statement, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and recently, the Oslo resolution of February 2011. We have celebrated the signing of these agreements aware that these were achieved painstakingly and with the welfare of the people in mind.
The NCCP believes that these agreements are guideposts towards a successful peace negotiations. These are consistent with the Biblical mandate to “seek peace and pursue it” (IPeter 3:11). Furthermore, we understand that the greater population of this country has delegated the power and authority to pursue just and lasting peace to those who are now called to see it through. We enjoin the parties to consider the foregoing charge.
We urge both parties to abide by and build on all previously signed agreements. Continue the discussion in a manner befitting a genuine advocate of just and lasting peace. May the God of peace give you the will and the grace to accomplish this task.
We also urge our constituents in the ecumenical movement and to fellow citizens of this country to hold on to the vision of peace. Amidst the diversity of gifts of the faith is the divine invitation to proclaim and live out the call for peace on earth and with the earth. Let us be steadfast in chanting God’s greatness and power in the struggle for abundant life. Our unceasing prayer for peace and injustice includes our prayers that the men and women involved in the peace talks will persevere. As the enthusiasm of the people for just and lasting peace refuses to fade away so do we urge the two parties to hold on to that same enthusiasm until we shall all dwell comfortably in our homes, own the lands we till and live in dignity according to the work of our hands.
REV. REX RB REYES, JR.
BISHOP NATHANAEL P. LAZARO
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