Rebels to raise killings, human rights violations to gov't negotiators

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 4) — Despite the delay, the government and the communist rebels remain hopeful for the fourth round of peace talks.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza said the four-day talks will focus on the "heart and soul" of the peace process.

"The talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) panel has never gone this far before.  In this 4th round of peace talks, we shall tackle ...  the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).  We shall also work out a more stable bilateral or joint ceasefire agreement," Dureza said during his opening statement on April 3.

The armed forces and the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party, failed to declare a ceasefire prior to the peace talks.

On the same day, 37-year-old farmer-activist Danilo Nadal was allegedly killed by agents of the 46th Philippine Army Infantry Brigade operating in Compostela Valley, according to the NDF.

With this, the Left said it will raise "political killings, human rights violations and massive evacuation of peasant communities due to intense military operations" to the government negotiators as "urgent matters of concern."

The panel meeting was supposed to start Sunday morning in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

However, it got delayed after President Rodrigo Duterte gave instructions to his negotiators to reiterate the four conditions he gave to the NDF to resume peace negotiations in the country.