GPH-NDF talks in Rome 'most important'

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GPH-NDF panel in Oslo (file photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Peace negotiators get a respite from the freezing temperatures of Oslo, Norway as the third round of talks between the government and the Left now moves to Rome, Italy.

On the agenda for this round of 7-day talks is a joint ceasefire agreement and the release of political prisoners.

Secretary Silvestre Bello, chief government negotiator, had said that this round was most important.

"We are going to discuss the issues, which we say, the heart and soul of peace process — issues on social and economic reforms," Bello said. 

Related: Venue of peace talks with communist rebels shifts to Rome

A mechanism will be proposed to ensure both parties will refrain from resorting to armed conflicts while talks are ongoing.

Luis Jalandoni, senior consultant of the National Democratic Front (NDF), had said that beyond the cessation of armed encounters, peace panelists wanted to address the roots of violence.

"So that there will be a firm basis and foundation for a just and lasting peace," Jalandoni said.

Marathon debates

The Comprehensive Agreement of Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) is the second framework of the peace process — which tackles the most crucial issues of land reform and industrialization.

The debates are expected to be gruelling and may even spill over to succeeding rounds.

NDF panel chair Fidel Agcaoili had said that they'd want socio-economic — and the subsequent agenda of political and constitutional reforms — successfully implemented in about two years.

Only then would they proceed to the last agenda: the laying down of arms and signing a peace agreement.

CNN Philippines' David Santos contributed to this report.