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Farmers back House bill on peace talks resumption

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CLARK FREEPORT — The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) has aired “full support” for legislators batting for the resumption of the peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

“We support this call from legislators urging Duterte to resume and continue peace talks with the NDFP and complete the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER),” said KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.

House Resolution 1803, the bill seeking the resumption of the talks, is supported by 58 legislators from the Lower House.

“The resumption of the peace talks and the finalization of the Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) and the National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED) will be for the best interest of Filipino farmers and the people,” Ramos said.

He noted that “the NDFP’s draft CASER embodies the demands of basic sectors in addressing perennial socioeconomic issues, particularly farmers’ demand for free land distribution. Before Duterte arbitrarily terminated the peace talks in November 2017, both sides had almost finished deliberating on the ARRD and NIED portions of the CASER.”

“Both the GRP and NDFP panels have already agreed to free land distribution. We want this pro-farmer measure pursued in all ways possible. Peace based on justice and comprehensive resolution of the armed conflict is what we also want to achieve,” Ramos noted.

He also said “the proposals on fiscal policies in the draft CASER are way better than the TRAIN Law implemented by Duterte and his fiscal managers from NEDA.”

“While the TRAIN package 1 is bludgeoning the people with high prices of goods and services, NEDA is preparing for the next tax reform packages. We demand genuine social and economic reforms and not additional measures and laws that will institutionalize poverty and hunger,” Ramos also said.

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