MANILA, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government on Wednesday expressed hope that the release of the four policemen who were held captive by leftist rebel group New People's Army ( NPA) in southern Philippines would jump start stalled peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Philippine government looks forward to the return of the National Democratic Front (NDF), the CPP's negotiating arm, to the negotiating table.
"This is a welcome development on the part of the NDF to release these four policemen. Certainly, we hope this is a groundbreaking event where the CPP-NPA-NDF would look forward to resuming the peace process without any conditions," said Lacierda.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said she views the release of the four policemen as a " potential building block" for the resumption of peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the NDF.
"We reiterate our openness and serious intent to pursue peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA-NDF on the basis of a time-bound and doable agenda," said Deles.
The four policemen were on their way to provide reinforcement to a police station in Alegria town, Surigao del Norte province following an attack by leftist rebels when they were captured by NPA guerrillas.
They were released on Tuesday following 12 days of negotiations initiated by NDF-Mindanao spokesman Jorge Madlos who worked with the Philippine government as a goodwill to promote the peace talks.
The 4,000-strong NPA, armed wing of the CPP, is waging a guerrilla war in 60 Philippine provinces since 1969.