Gov’t peace consultant hands-off in local talks with Reds

Sep. 30, 2017

OPAPP Secretary Jesus Dureza

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said Friday, September 29, that it will distance itself from the local government’s efforts in talking with the Communist rebels here.

OPAPP Secretary Jesus Dureza said intervening with the localized talks might affect the trust level between the government panel and the National Democratic Front on the peace process.

“We cannot support and be part of something that is there on the ground and also while we are talking with their leadership who may not agree with the localized peace talks,” Dureza told reporters on Friday, September 29, during the launching of the Peace Buzz caravan in Davao City.

Dureza also maintained that what they want is “to continue to keep the trust level and the confidence level” to continue dealing with the leadership of the other party.

“We are dealing with the leadership and localized peace talks may be viewed by them as something that is pulling the carpet under their feet,” Dureza said.

Davao City is among the local government units who want conduct peace talks with the Reds. In July, Northern Samar also said it would like to set up a dialogue between the New People’s Army, the Philippine Army, and the local government.

Here, City Mayor Sara Duterte has issued an executive order creating the Davao City Local Peace Committee that shall manage the peace talks.

Duterte has repeatedly announced her desire to pursue the initiative with the revolutionary movement. (davaotoday.com)

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