Friday, October 14, 2016

Best chance for peace under Duterte administration, says former OPAPP executive

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 14): Best chance for peace under Duterte administration, says former OPAPP executive

The government reaching a final peace deal with the communist movement as well as achieving a full implementation of existing peace agreements with the two Moro fronts is more possible than ever under the Duterte administration, according to a former executive of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

Jose Lorena, former OPAPP Undersecretary for the Bangsamoro and currently serving as one of the agency’s senior consultants, said the current administration has an overwhelming political will to generate the needed public support to the country’s over-all peace process.

“What is crucial to a successful peace deal is the public support. Without it, the ultimate goal of any peace agreements will not be fully achieved,” Lorena told students of the University of the Philippines Cebu during a recent peace forum held in the city. “President Duterte hails from Mindanao, which has an active presence of Moro rebels and communist movement. He knows the sentiments and the underlying factors of the conflict.”

Lorena gave students who attended the forum an overview of the current administration's comprehensive six-point peace plan which underscores several thrusts on how to deal with the rebel groups politically and the implementation of socio-economic programs to spur development in conflict-affected and conflict-prone communities across the country.

Peace negotiators of both the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) have recently concluded their second round of talks in Oslo, Norway. Among the agenda were the revitalization of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), bilateral ceasefire, comprehensive agreements on socio-economic reforms (CASER), political and constitutional reforms (PCR) and the end of hostilities/disposition of forces (EOH-DOF).

The Implementing Panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), meanwhile, are also set to meet in the next few weeks to discuss the creation of the new Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which is tasked to draft a new enabling law for the future Bangsamoro government in Mindanao. Developments pertinent to the 1996 Final Peace Agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are also underway.

During the forum, Lorena urged the youth to actively engage in the peace process, saying they will eventually inherit the positive outputs of the current peace efforts. “[The] youth should take full responsibility to understand the history of these peace processes. Unity can only be achieved through understanding. It is a challenge and journey for the youth to accept because they will after all carry the leadership in the future.” (OPAPP)

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