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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

OPAPP: Let’s have local peace talks

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The conduct of localized peace engagements across the country aims to put an end to the decades-long communist insurgency in the country by directly addressing the needs of the rebels themselves. 

According to Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, chief of staff and spokesperson of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, there is a growing disconnect between the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines and their people in the frontlines who are actually suffering the most from the armed conflict.

Mayor said during a live phone patch interview Thursday morning: “There is a disconnect between those in the CPP leadership and those on the ground. The ones on the ground face hardship, while the people up the ladder, they are abroad, and they live comfortably.”

Mayor stressed that in case the peace talks between the Philippine government and the CPP-NPA-NDFP resumed, the Reds should not impose preconditions which would be against the Constitution.

“Localized peace engagements prove that peaceful dialogue and consultation with the rebel group can be conducted without violating the Constitution,” he said.

Localized peace engagements is one of the 12 clusters of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, the multi-agency body created by virtue of Executive Order 70 or the “Whole-of-Nation Approach.”

Since its implementation in 2019, LPEs have made a significant impact on the peace and security situation of communities in Central Luzon, Davao and Zamboanga Peninsula regions where hundreds of CPP-NPA members have returned to the folds of the law.

OPAPP, which is the co-lead agency along with the Department of the Interior and Local Government for the LPE cluster, is carrying out various interventions across the country, with the help of partner agencies and organizations, in order to better respond to issues and concerns affecting residents in conflict-ridden communities.

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