From the Mindanao Times n(Feb 28): Careful consideration
Mayor Sara reads NPA reply but yet to comment
MAYOR Sara Duterte is carefully considering the counter-proposal of the New People’s Army (NPA) for a possible localized peace dialogue.
“The Mayor has already read the reply of the NPA to her previous offer,” said City Information Office head Jefry Tupas Sunday night.
“Right now, she is carefully looking into it and will come up with a statement in the coming days.”
Rigoberto Sanchez, the NPA regional operations command for southern Mindanao, in a rejoinder to Mayor Duterte’s offer, said the rebel group is willing to meet with her at a mutually agreed time and date in any NPA-controlled territory within the city.
“The NPA would gladly discuss any matter that she would like to take up with the revolutionary movement, the duties and responsibilities of the people’s democratic government, the role of the NPA, the on-going all-out war of the AFP and the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations,” Sanchez said.
Mayor Duterte offered her hand of peace to the NPA after a series of skirmishes hit earlier this month in Paquibato and Calinan districts, which killed at least 12 and wounded around 20 AFP troopers.
“The revolutionary forces recognize Sara Duterte’s willingness to talk to the NPA as a group and not to individuals amid the growing public clamor to resume the suspended GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and achieve substantial gains in the peace process,” Sanchez said.
However, Sanchez questioned Sara’s remaining trust with the military, quoting her as saying she would “leave everything to the AFP” if the talks failed.
“Mayor Sara must know by now that the AFP is a corrupt, wily and mercenary organization that makes a mockery of the peace process and continuously sabotages her father’s and the NDFP’s efforts at peace every chance it gets,” Sanchez said.
“Furthermore, we are optimistic that Mayor Sara would judiciously discern the realities of the civil war, not merely through the statistics of AFP casualties and its civilian victims but by seeing the imperative to address the roots of the armed conflict.”
Mayor Duterte earlier said that her offer for a dialogue would be limited only to her jurisdiction of Davao City and would welcome dialogues not from individual surrenderees but the NPA “as a group.”