OPAPP: Negotiations only one of many roads toward peace

PRESIDENTIAL Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza said the national government is continuing its efforts despite the cancellation of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines and National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF).

“The talk are ongoing but is still now canceled. The president had instructed ‘no talks.’ We in the panel takes his guidance and decisions,” he said.

“Everything is cancelled, but it doesn’t stop OPAPP and other sectors working for peace to continue our work,” he said, noting that the negotiating table is only one of many roads toward peace.

Another way to ensure peace is to improve the lives of the people. “We can continue improving the lives of the people even without the peace agreement. You can even sign a hundred pieces of agreements. If you cannot improve the lives of the people, nothing will happen to the paper that was signed,” he said.

The peace secretary also noted, however, that the negotiation with the MILF has been sustained despite the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. He said the government is already working with the group to develop Moro communities through the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA).

The BDA was established in accordance with the humanitarian, rehabilitation, and development aspects of the GRP-MILF Peace Agreement in 2001. This is aimed at determining and managing rehabilitation and development projects in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao.

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