The Philippine government views with optimism, although with managed expectations, positive outcomes in the forthcoming resumption of peace negotiations in Rome on January 19 to 25 with the CPP/NPA/NDF.
The 3rd round of talks hopes to tackle the still unfinished discussions on the proposed bilateral ceasefire vis-a-vis the issues on the releases of prisoners.
The crucial agenda items on socio economic reforms, constitutional , political reforms and end of hostilities and disposition of forces are on the table for discussions.
These issues, although difficult, are surmountable with both sides sharing common aspirations for peace.
The preparatory work and engagements by both sides respectively headed by Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Fidel Agcaoili even before the 3rd round of talks auger well for possible significant progress with the hosting and facilitation of the Norwegian team headed by Ambassador Elisabeth Slattum.
President Duterte has instructed the government panel to work for an early settlement of the issues as he calls on the nation to provide support to the efforts to ultimately bring peace in the land.
The outcomes of the third round of talks can bring us closer to achieving some possible milestones for sustainable peace.