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FFW backs PNoy on peace talks with NDF, urges adoption of national industrialization plan to promote decent work

Labor group Federation of Free Workers (FFW) welcomes President Benigno Aquino III’s “resolve to move the peace process forward” with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). 

PNoy made the pronouncement at the end of last week to the delegation of the Norwegian government, who has been acting as peace mediators, who were paying a courtesy call to Malacanang. 

“This is indeed a very welcome development and in pursuit of the spirit of people power,” said Atty. Sonny Matula, president of the 200,000-strong FFW. Last year, PNoy said that forging a peace deal with said rebels appeared to be difficult.

The labor group also urges the PNoy administration to highlight national industrialization to promote decent work as one of the foundations of the peace process with the NDFP.

Last Friday, the Royal Norwegian Government Team of Facilitators paid a courtesy call in Malacañang as they are brokering the administration’s peace negotiations with the communist NDFP, Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.

“We have a fratricidal war for more than 40 years, our people are already sick and tired of soldiers and rebels killing each other making thousands of civilians as collateral damage,” FFW President Sonny Matula said. 

He added “the FFW unions and their member-workers join the facilitators’ expression that “now is a good time to move” the peace process forward. This is also labor’s message for the people power celebration this year.

Last year, the FFW declared its support for the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro which hopes to put an end to the decades-old war in Muslim Mindanao. FFW said that“we can't have lasting peace in country through the barrel of the gun.” 

Industrialization towards decent work

“Pwede bang pag-usapan rin ang industrialisasyon ng bansa na kasama ang mga manggagawa sa usaping pangkapayapaan?” Matula quipped. “Sa pambansang industriyalisasyon, palagay ko ating masasagot ang kawalan ng disente at marangal na trabaho, na ugat ng paghihirap at paghihimagsik.”

The FFW president, who is also a lawyer looks at South Korea’s Park Chung Hee’s industrial plan.  Despite World Bank and American economic advisers’ opposition, said Korean leader conceived and pursued his “heavy and chemical industrial plan – a massive program to build up six strategic industries, consisting of iron and steel, ship-building, chemical, electronics, non-ferrous metals, and machinery."

“Ang kanilang industriyalisasyon ay siyang naglikha ng maraming permanente at disenteng trabaho para sa kanilang mamamayan,” Matula added.

FFW is of the view that the armed conflict despite its noble intention aggravates the suffering of our people/ Thus, it holds that the government in the right direction in reactivating the peace talk with the NDFP.

FFW calls the parties to include labor and other basic sectors in social dialogue to bring peace to our country. Likewise, FFW continues to support the peace process with the MNLF.

FREE WORKERS

FREE WORKERS

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