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NDFP hits Galvez, Esperon over dismissal of CASER

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 1/14/2020 JULIA MARI ORNEDO,GMA News
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The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on Tuesday slammed National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. for their dismissal of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

The CASER is a joint agreement between the Philippine government and NDFP regarding social and economic reforms.

Galvez earlier dismissed the CASER as obsolete and irrelevant , while Esperon claimed that the agreement will turn the Philippines into a socialist state.

“Their commentaries are, at the very least, grossly misinformed,” the NDFP said in a statement.

The leftist organization said they and the government both crafted their own versions of the CASER and arrived at a mutually agreed-upon draft.

The technical negotiations have led to “substantially completed” drafts on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development as well as National Industrialization and Economic Development.

“The CASER will be an expansive deal with 11 substantive sections of policy reforms,” the NDFP said, noting that peace talks in 2016 and 2017 paved the way for the creation of a common draft.

“The peace talks give the opportunity for the public to better understand CASER. It is understandable that former generals Esperon and Galvez are afraid of wider public knowledge about the NDFP’s proposals,” they added.

Upon the possible resumption of peace talks this year, the government and NDFP can move on to the approval of the common drafts. 

“The common drafts show that it is possible for the parties to set aside ideological differences and unite on concrete steps for the common cause of real economic progress for the nation,” the group said.

The NDFP explained that their proposals cover issues such as the protection of the environment, decent employment, free education and healthcare, affordable housing and utilities, and the protection of indigenous peoples’ rights, among others.

They also belied claims made by the two government officials that CASER will demobilize the Armed Forces as there is “no such provision” in the common drafts.

The leftist group acknowledged that peace talks under the Duterte administration have “accomplished much in a short period of time.”

“The misguided, ill-informed and malicious commentaries on the CASER of Esperon and Galvez are most of all intended to sabotage the possible resumption of the peace talks between the NDFP and the [government],” the group said. — RSJ, GMA News

This article NDFP hits Galvez, Esperon over dismissal of CASER was originally published in GMA News Online.

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