DC-PEACE formed

THE LOCAL government will still pursue a localized peace talks despite uncertainties in the talks between the GPH and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines/Communist Party of the Philippines (NDFP-CPP).

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio formalized a localized peace committee through an executive order released Tuesday morning.

The peace committee comprises various local government departments, as well as representatives from the private sector and the non-government organizations.

“It is the obligation of your duly elected public officials to pursue just and lasting peace for the city, we have created the Davao City – Local Peace Committee (DC – PEACE) with the objective and the function to manage the localized peace talks with the New People’s Army (NPA) operating within the area of responsibility of Davao City,” Carpio said.

The mayor named the members of the Davao City Local Peace Committee (DC PEACE).

The members of the committee are City Social Services and Development Office head Maria Luisa Bermudo, Atty. Elisa Lapina of the City Legal Office, Barangay Chair Jessielito Areja of Barangay Malabog, Paquibato District; and Archbishop Romulo Valles of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

“We have also tapped consultants to assist us,” Carpio said.

The Mayor said that she would be welcoming a private sector chairperson.

“We welcome your suggestions,” Carpio said.

According to the Mayor, the committee will exist for around one year, until November 2018.

“If there are no significant developments and movement in the localized process, we will pursue other options to attain peace,” Carpio said.

“I am asking our New People’s Army (NPA) friends to work with us in the local government. After all, we all want to see a better Davao and we surely can attain this if you work beside us.”

Carpio’s call for working with the NPA came months after the group attacked and burned a packing plant in Barangay Mandug, Buhangin District in April.

The attack yielded a collateral casualty, with fish vendor Larry Buenafe killed when a remote-detonated mine exploded and included the man on his bike in its blast radius. The NPA had initially targeted a responding Simba tank from the Task Force Davao for its mine.

Earlier this week, CPP founding member Jose Maria Sison said the communist guerillas were no longer interested in pursuing further peace talks with the national government.

This, as President Rodrigo Duterte called for the surrender of the NPA and offered them jobs to protect the country.

“The line has been drawn to separate, fight and overthrow the US-Duterte regime. Duterte would have a hard time to act convincing again,” Sison was quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an online interview.

“Early on, it has been proven that Duterte is a liar and untrustworthy,” he said.

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