Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Duterte greenlights local peace talks with Reds

From the Philippine Star (Aug 8): Duterte greenlights local peace talks with Reds

The Cabinet has approved President Duterte’s call for localized peace talks with the communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday.

“It was approved in the Cabinet meeting, so it is forthcoming,” Roque announced a day after the Cabinet meeting.

Duterte is also to preside over a joint command conference with top security officials to discuss the national threat board, including the recent militant attacks in Mindanao and developments in the campaign against terrorism.

The approval of the localized peace talks came after backchannel efforts for peace with the National Democratic Front (NDF) stalled last June.

The NDF is representing the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA in peace talks with the government.

Last month, Malacañang released its guidelines that the talks be nationally orchestrated, centrally directed and locally supervised and implemented; constitutional integrity and sovereignty will not be compromised; there will be complete and genuine resolution of the local armed conflict covering the NPA.

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; provision of a full amnesty package based on disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration to mainstream society.

Roque added localized peace talks should include no coalition government or power sharing; no revolutionary taxation, extortion and other violent activities.


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