Kiko to "doves in the Cabinet": Convince Duterte to resume peace talks with NDF

Published June 9, 2021, 2:51 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Opposition Senator Francis N. Pangilinan on Tuesday called for the resumption of peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels.

Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party (LP), said genuine and lasting peace remains the best option rather than violence.

He maintained that peace and prosperity would address the root problems of insurgency and usher in sustainable development, especially in the countryside.

The President formally ended peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) in 2017 after on-and-off negotiations.

“We hope the doves in the Cabinet would prevail to bring to fore the need for genuine peace as paramount and must be pursued right away,” Pangilinan said.

Pangillinan made the call after expressing his condolences with the families of Far Eastern University (FEU) football player Kieth Absalon and his cousin who were killed in a roadside explosion while biking in his hometown Masbate City.

“Kalaro ng pamangkin ko sa football si Kieth. Napakagaling daw (My nephew plays football with Keith, He said Keith is a good player). Malaking kawalan sa pamilya at sa bayan si Kieth. Ang layo pa sana ng mararating nlya ( His family and the nation mourns the loss of Keith),” Pangilinan said.

“He has brought pride and honor to his school and the country through his sports. The country’s football community grieves his death,’’ he added.

Absalon, 21, represented the country when he played for the national team in the 2018 ASEAN Football Federation Under-19 Youth Championship held in Indonesia.

In the UAAP high school league, Absalon won many awards, including Most Valuable Player, and six titles, the most for any player in the league’s history. He was scheduled to make his college debut in UAAP Season 82, which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pangilinan said he seeks justice for the death of Absalon and his cousin.