Quezon City: The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), welcomed the call made yesterday of Senate President Pro Tempore, Loren Legarda, to resume the peace negotiations between the the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza, NCCP General Secretary stated, “Sen. Legarda’s call for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and her statement that believing an ideology which may be different then the majority does not make one a subversive, is a breath of fresh air amid the toxic atmosphere brought about by speeches and public discourses that sow hate and war”.
“The NCCP has always championed principled dialogue over the negotiating table to resolve the 50-year-old armed
conflict in the country and fully support Sen. Legarda’s call for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and to review the Anti-Terrorism Law”, Bishop Marigza said.
“We also fully appreciate her remark about former President Fidel V. Ramos and his contributions to the peace process in the country. Even though Pres. Ramos was a soldier, it was during his term when The Hague Joint Declaration for the GRP-NDFP peace process was signed and became the basis and the agenda for the formal peace talks”, Bishop Marigza added.
Bishop Marigza also stated, “former President Ramos was a devoted member of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and was known to be the first and only Protestant elected President of our country. We are very proud of his legacy on peace building and his role in restoring democracy in our country”.
Sen. Legarda raised the call after Senator Francis Tolentino, in his privilege speech, floated the idea of requiring government officials to declare in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) who among their family members are members of or affiliated with “terrorist organizations.”
“The NCCP considers the proposal of Sen. Tolentino as dangerous and unjust since it requires public officials to adjudge their relatives as ‘subversive’ or ‘terrorist’ without due process on the basis of mere guilt by association,” Bishop Marigza concluded.