The Daily Manila Shimbun


Catholic bishops urge gov’t, NDFP to “take bold steps” to bring peace

May 23, 2017

With the fifth round of peace talks between the Philippine government (GPH) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) on Saturday, Catholic bishops urge the peace panels of both sides to be courageous to take steps to finally bring peace. In a statement, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Socrates Villegas said it is imperative for the Philippine and NDF panels to do so. "Indeed, one of the most common exhortations in all of Scripture was one beloved to Saint John Paul II: 'Be not afraid'. This is what we ask of the negotiators on both sides of the table.  Do not be afraid to take the bold steps that alone can bring peace," said Villegas. "Intransigence is not strength.  Humility is.  That one has stood one's ground is not necessarily the best that can be said of anyone," added Villegas. From May 27 to June 1, the Philippine government and the communist group are set to hold the next round of peace talks in Noordwijk in The Netherlands. The latest round of peace talks comes more than a month since the last round of negotiations were held also in Noordwijk. DMS