102 lawmakers urge Duterte to continue peace talks

Mara Cepeda

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102 lawmakers urge Duterte to continue peace talks
The congressmen say the Duterte administration reached 'remarkable and unparalleled headway' in the negotiations compared to other administrations

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 102 lawmakers led by the House Makabayan bloc signed a resolution urging President Rodrigo Duterte to continue the peace negotiations with communist rebels.

The Makabayan bloc legislators filed House Resolution (HR) Number 769 on Thursday, February 9. Four days before, the President scrapped the peace talks after the New People’s Army (NPA) withdrew from a 5-month-old ceasefire. 

The government also issued a notice to cancel an agreement giving some rebels immunity from arrest – the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). (READ: Rebels reject ‘improper’ notice to cancel talks, JASIG)

According to the congressmen, the President should continue the peace talks because the “Duterte administration [has] reached remarkable and unparalleled headway” compared to past administrations. 

“Terminating the same would only put to waste the unprecedented, positive and substantial gains the peace talks have reached,” said the lawmakers.

“It is highly imperative that this Congress hear the Filipino people’s desire to support the resumption of the peace negotiations. It is just and lasting peace itself that is the very compelling reason to continue the peace negotiations,” they added. 

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate said there is a 30-day window before the cancellation of the JASIG will take place. 

“Kami ay may nakikita pang puwang na may mababalik sa track ang peace process. At kailangang samantalahin natin ang opportunity na ito,” said Zarate in a press conference.  

(We still see a window for the peace process to get back on track. We need to take advantage of this opportunity.)

The full list of lawmakers who signed HR 769 as of early afternoon of February 9 are as follows:

  1. Deputy Speaker Ferdinand Hernandez, South Cotabato 2nd District
  2. Deputy Speaker Eric Singson, Ilocos Sur 2nd District
  3. Arlene Brosas, Gabriela Women’s Party (Makabayan)
  4. France Castro, ACT Teachers (Makabayan)
  5. Ariel Casilao, Anakpawis (Makabayan)
  6. Emmi de Jesus, Gabriela Women’s Party (Makabayan)
  7. Sarah Elago, Kabataan (Makabayan)
  8. Antonio Tinio, ACT Teachers (Makabayan)
  9. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Bayan Muna (Makabayan)
  10. Harlin Neil Abayon III, Aangat Tayo
  11. Rodrigo Abellanosa, Cebu City 2nd District
  12. Pedro Acharon, South Cotabato 1st District
  13. Maria Lourdes Aggabao, Isabela 4th District
  14. Rodolfo Albano III, Isabela 1st Distrct 
  15. Jorge Almonte, Misamis Occidental 1st District
  16. Michaelina Antonio, Agbiag
  17. Arlene Arcillas-Nazareno, Laguna 1st District 
  18. Rosemarie Arenas, Pangasinan 3rd District
  19. Erico Aumentado, Bohol 2nd Distrct
  20. Leopoldo Bataoil, Pangasinan 2nd District
  21. Rodel Batocabe, AKO Bicol
  22. Jose Christopher Belmonte, Quezon City 6th District
  23. Joseph Sto Niño Bernos, Abra
  24. John Bertiz, ACTS-OFW
  25. Lianda Bolilia, Batangas 4th Distrct
  26. Gabriel Bordado Jr, Camarines Sur 3rd District 
  27. Anthony Bravo, COO-NATCCO
  28. Maria Vida Espinosa-Bravo, Masbate 1st Distrct 
  29. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang, Apayao
  30. Luis Campos, Makati City 2nd District 
  31. Sabiniana Canama, COOP-NATCCO
  32. Aurora Enerio-Cerilles, Zamboanga del Sur 2nd District
  33. Maria Theresa Collantes, Batangas 3rd District 
  34. Jonas Cortes, Cebu 3rd District 
  35. Vincent Crisologo, Quezon City 1st District 
  36. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma, Nueva Vizcaya
  37. Leo Rafael Cueva, Negros Occidental 2nd District
  38. Eugene de Vera, Arts Business and Science Professionals
  39. Raul del Mar, Cebu City 1st District
  40. Monsour del Rosario, Makati City 1st District
  41. Cherry Deloso-Montalla, Zambales 2nd District
  42. Ramon Durano VI, Cebu 5th District
  43. Napolen Dy, Isabela 3rd District
  44. Sandra Eriguel, La Union 2nd District 
  45. Evelina Escudero, Sorsogon 1st District 
  46. Juliet Ferrer, Negros Occidental 4th District 
  47. Lawrence Fortun, Agusan del Norte 1st District 
  48. Alfredo Garbin Jr, AKO Bicol 
  49. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, Compostela Valley 2nd District 
  50. Fernando Gonzalez, Albay 3rd District
  51. Alexandria Gonzales, Mandaluyong
  52. Mark Go, Baguio City
  53. Seth Frederick Jalosjos, Zamboanga del Norte 1st Distrt
  54. Elisa Kho, Masbate 2nd District
  55. Virgilio Lacson, MANILA Teachers
  56. Edcel Lagman, Albay 1st Distrct
  57. Delphine Lee, AGRI
  58. Benjur Lopez Jr, YACAP
  59. Dale Malapitan, Caloocan City 1st Distrct
  60. Allen Jesse Mangaoang, Kalinga
  61. Rodante Marcoleta, 1-SAGIP
  62. Evelyn Plaza-Mellana, Agusan del Sur 
  63. Raymond Mendoza, TUCP 
  64. Alejandro Mirasol, Negros Occidental 5th District 
  65. Ramon Nolasco, Cagayan 1st Distrct
  66. Henry Oaminal, Misamis Occidental 2nd District
  67. Eric Olivarez, Parañaque 1st Distrct
  68. Edwin Ong, Northern Samar 2nd Distrct
  69. Pablo Ortega, La Union
  70. Rogelio Pacquiao, Sarangani
  71. Joseph Stephen Paduano,  Abang Lingkod
  72. Wilter Palma, Zamboanga Sibugay 1st Distrct 
  73. Jose Panganiban Jr. ANAC-IP
  74. Marisol Panotes, Camarines Norte 2nd District
  75. Mauyag Papandayan Jr, Lanao del Sur  
  76. Johnny Pimentel, Surigao del Sur 2nd District
  77. Enrico Pineda, 1PACMAN
  78. Aileen Radaza, Lapu-Lapu City 
  79. Isidro Rodriguez Jr, Rizal 2nd District
  80. Geraldine Roman, Bataan 1st Distrct
  81. Harry Roque, Kabayan
  82. Rogelio Roque, Bukidnon 4th District
  83. Jesus Sacdalan, Cotabato 1st District
  84. Ron Salo, Kabayan
  85. Orestes Salon, AGRI
  86. Joey Salceda, Albay 2nd District 
  87. Federico Sandoval II, Malabon
  88. Vilma Santos-Recto, Batangas 6th District
  89. Deogracias Victor Savellano, Ilocos Sur 1st District
  90. Bai Sandra Sema, Maguindanao 1st District
  91. Frederick Siao, Iligan 
  92. Anna Marie Villaraza-Suarez, ALONA
  93. Jose Tejada, Cotabato 3rd District
  94. Randolph Ting, Cagayan 3rd District
  95. Arnel Ty, LPGMA
  96. Carlos Roman Uybarreta, 1-CARE
  97. Baby Aline Vargas-Alfonso, Cagayan 2nd District
  98. Rosanna Vergara, Nueva Ecija 3rd District
  99. Noel Villanueva, Tarlac 3rd District
  100. Micaela Violago, Nueva Ecija 2nd District
  101. Melecio Yap, Negros Occidental 1st District
  102. Manuel Zubiri, Bukidnon 3rd District

– Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.