PRRD to issue EO for ‘localized’ peace talks with NPA

MANILA – President Rodrigo Dutere will issue an executive order for “localized” peace talks with the New People’s Army (NPA) if the peace talks between national government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) will not push through, Malacañang said on Thursday.

“So there will be an executive order that will spell out the guidelines that were agreed upon yesterday (Wednesday),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during regular Palace press briefing.

Roque said the guiding framework for localized peace talks has been approved during Wednesday’s special cluster meeting of the Security, Justice and Peace Committees at Malacañang Palace.

The meeting was attended by the President, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and some Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) members.

“This localized peace talks was agreed upon during the last Cabinet meeting if Joma Sison does not want to talk here in the Philippines and to agree to some conditions, our local government officials will be given authority to engage in localized peace talks,” Roque said.

Roque said among guidelines for localized peace talks include:

It is nationally orchestrated, centrally directed and locally supervised and implemented.

The constitutional integrity and sovereignty will not be compromised.

Complete and genuine resolution of the local armed conflict. It shall cover the NPAs, organs of political power and Militia ng Bayan.

If there is a ceasefire, the constitutional mandate of the state to protect public safety, civilian welfare, critical infrastructure and private properties and the guarantee of rule of law and order will not be compromised at all times.

Government goodwill, full amnesty package based on disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration to the mainstream of society.

The necessary enabling environment set by the President for the formal local talks to proceed are local venue, no coalition government or power-sharing, no revolutionary taxes, extortion, arson and violent activities and the fighters to remain in their pre-designated encampment areas.

The substantive agenda will be based on the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan and Philippine Development Program 2040.

Roque said officials have also agreed to have four kinds of localized peace talks such as the localized peace talks between the local peace channel and the local fighters; community dialogue; local peace package; and confidential dialogue.

“Confidential dialogue will be undertaken to a combatant armed group who desires to lie low without open documentation and will not avail of the peace package program,” Roque said.

He said the peace package, on the other hand, is direct availment of the GRP peace initiative intended to provide the integration and mainstreaming support without going through process of peace negotiation. (PNA)



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