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Full medical attention being provided to Fernandez, wife – Galvez

March 29, 2019 – Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. assured on Thursday that National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant Francisco “Frank” Fernandez and his wife Cleofe Lagtapon are being given full medical attention following their arrest on March 24 in Liliw, Laguna.

“I visited the two in the Army General Hospital (AGH) yesterday, and the Philippine Army is providing them the best medical care that they need,” the peace adviser said.

“They also have dedicated nurses to ensure that their medical needs are attended round the clock,”he added.

Fernandez, 71, and Lagtapon, 66, were nabbed along with Ge-Ann Perez, 20, by combined operation of the police and the Army last Sunday and were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives, and violation of the election gun ban.

The NDF consultant is also facing four warrants for murder and multiple murder.

Galvez also debunked the claims of human rights group Karapatan in a statement that the couple, along with another arrested NDF consultant Renante Gamara, are being denied access to their legal counsel.

“What they are saying is a brazen lie. I can attest that the couple were able to meet their lawyers. They can always seek guidance from them. We also assure the couple that we will respect their rights,” he said.

The peace adviser guaranteed that the government will respect and follow the couple’s right to due process. ###

By | March 29th, 2019|CPP-NPA-NDF, News|0 Comments

Galvez: Peace agreement with RPA-ABB, a model for localized peace engagements

Jamindan, Capiz, March 26, 2019 –  Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. underscored on Tuesday that the government’s agreement with the Rebolusyonaryong Partido Ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade-Tabara Paduano Group (RPM-P/RPA-ABB-TPG) is a successful example of the localized peace engagements being advocated by the government. 

During the dialogue with the RPM-P/RPA-ABB-TPG/Kapatiran para sa Progresibong Panlipunan (KAPATIRAN) in this municipality, Galvez noted that the transition plan to be implemented by the government is part of the Whole-of-Nation approach under the EO 70 directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to end local communist insurgency and attain inclusive and sustainable peace. 

KAPATIRAN is an organization composed of members of the RPM-P/RPA/ABB-TPG, which signed a peace agreement with the government in 2000. 

“Sa mga meetings and engagements ko noong nakaraang araw, partikular na ang mga tungkol sa EO 70, lagi kong hinahalimbawa ang pakikipag-usap sa inyong grupo bilang produkto ng tagumpay ng localized peace engagements,” he said. 

(In my recent meetings and engagements, particularly about the EO 70, I always cite our dialogues  with your group as a product of the success of localized peace engagements.)

The peace adviser also said that the success of the implementation of the RPM-P/RPA-ABB-TPG’s various programs can be replicated in the ongoing localized peace engagements with the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and partner national government agencies will be working together on the realization of a three-year plan for the development of RPM-P/RPA-ABB-TPG’s communities and the transformation of its members into productive members of the society. 

“Once na nabigay na ang lahat ng nakapaloob sa agreement, pipirma tayo ng exit agreement by end of 2021 or by early 2022, bago po matapos ang termino ng ating Presidente,” Galvez said. 

(Once we fulfill all components of the agreement, we will be signing an exit agreement by end or 2021 or by early 200, before the President’s term ends.)

During his visit to Negros Occidental last March 8, Galvez said OPAPP has already allocated around Php 500 million in line with the transition plan, which includes social protection programs, capacity development, livelihood and employment assistance, housing assistance and financial assistance to 727 former combatants and their families. 

These programs will support the five components of the Clarificatory Implementing Document (CID), namely: Disposition of Arms and Forces (DAF) and Security Arrangements; Social and Economic Reintegration of the RPMP/RPA/ABB-TPG/KAPATIRAN; Release of the remaining Alleged Political Offenders; Transformation of the members into civilian organization engaging in socio-economic and political activities; and Community Peace Dividends.

The peace adviser noted that the assistance to be given to beneficiaries is part of President Duterte’s commitment to honor all peace agreements during his administration. 

“Napakahalaga na hindi lang natatapos sa isang pirmahan ang usaping pangkapayapaan. Hangarin namin ang pangarap ng ating pangulo na mabigyan kayo ng magandang buhay,” he said. 

(The peace process doesn’t end in the signing of an agreement. We also want to fulfill the President’s dream of giving you a better life).

Joint body overseeing CID implementation pledges support to the transition 

The members of the Joint Enforcement and Monitoring Committee (JEMC), the five-member body tasked to oversee and monitor the implementation of the commitments under the CID has pledged to work hand in hand to fast-track the implementation of the document’s various components. 

Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Cesar Yano assured members of the KAPATIRAN that the government will accelerate the development and delivery of government services. 

“What’s important is action. We assure you that we will work very fast” Yano said. 

Meanwhile, Veronica Tabara, chairperson of the KAPATIRAN, committed that her group will fulfill all their commitments under the disposition of firearms and forces component of the CID. 

Tabara said she will also ensure the “full transformation” of her group’s members. 

“We will continue to help the people and government for us to attain lasting peace in our communities,” she said in Hiligaynon. 

Aside from Yano and Tabara, other members of the JEMC are OPAPP consultant Milo S. Ibrado Jr., Mr. Ramel Farol of KAPATIRAN, and Pastor Noel Villarba as third party representative.

Also present during the event were Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 3rd Infantry Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Dinoh Dolina who committed the 3rd ID’s support for future activities and initiatives of the group; AFP Peace and Development Office Chief BGen. Cesar De Mesa and Philippine National Police (PNP) Peace Process and Development Office Head Chief Supt. Gerardo Rosales.

Abang-Lingkod Party-list representative Stephen Paduano also graced the gathering where he reiterated his support for the conclusion of the peace process with former RPMP/RPA/ABB-TPG comrades. ###

By | March 26th, 2019|CPP-NPA-NDF, News, RPM-P/RPA/ABB|0 Comments

Whole-of-Nation approach to resolve decades of insurgency

Jamindan, Capiz March 25, 2019 – Ending decades of communist insurgency and attaining inclusive and sustainable peace in the country can be achieved through the concerted efforts of national and local government agencies, local government units, sectoral groups, and the military, Armed of Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. said on Monday.

During the Whole-of-Nation commitment activity held in this municipality, Madrigal expressed optimism the armed conflict between the national government and the rebel group will find closure under the term of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. 

“Confident tayo lalong lalo na with the creation of National Task Force (to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) kung lahat tayo ay magkakaisa, magsasama-sama, dahil sabi nga hindi lang military ang makakasagot ng problema na ito. Lahat tayo,” he said. 

(We are confident especially with the creation of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict if we all unite. The military cannot resolve this alone. All of us.)

At the event organized by the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (3ID PA),  the representatives from the government and various sectors pledged their commitment to end the communist insurgency in Western Visayas through the Whole-of-Nation approach.

The said approach is anchored on Executive Order 70 issued by President Duterte in December 2018 which seeks to put an end to the armed conflict with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).

Through this multi-pronged strategy, the government will prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict-affected and conflict-vulnerable communities, facilitate societal inclusivity, and ensure active participation of all sectors of society in pursuit of the country’s peace agenda.

According to Madrigal, local government units will play a key role in the success of this approach. 

“Pinakamahalaga ang mga local chief executives dahil kailangan magkaroon ng mga champions sa pagpapatupad nito. Sabi nga natin sa mga areas kung saan maganda ang resulta ng ating counter-insurgency efforts, mga local chief executives talaga ang namuno,” Madrigal said. 

(The most important component in this effort are the local chief executives because they are the champions in its implementation. In the areas where the results of our counter-insurgency efforts are successful, they were led by our local chief executives.)

The NPA has been conducting guerilla-styled warfare in the countryside for almost 50 years with the aim of setting-up a socialist form of government by overthrowing the democratically-elected one.

For the past 32 years and over several administrations, the national government and the communist group have held intermittent negotiations but have not produced a peace deal. 

In his message during the event, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Carlito Galvez Jr. said his office aims to replicate the gains of the Bangsamoro peace process in the implementation of the local peace engagements. 

“Ang MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) at MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front), hindi po kami magiging successful kung national level lang po ang aming pag-uusap,” he said. 

(Our talks with the MILF and MNLF will not be successful if we limited our talks in the national level.)

Galvez explained that by engaging local actors of conflict, critical peace and security issues on the ground will be better addressed. 

On March 26, the peace adviser will be having a dialogue with the leadership of Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas Revolutionary Proletarian Army – Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP/RPA/ABB-TPG) to craft the multi-year transition plan which will transform their former members into active and productive members of the society.

Galvez also said that with his office’s expanded scope of work, it will help “break the generational chain of violence through peacebuilding, reconciliation, and unity.”

Meanwhile, Major General Dinoh Dolina, Commander of the 3ID operating in the Visayas region, attributed the increasing number of rebels in the region coming back to the folds of law to the holistic approach in supporting the communities mired by conflict. 

“Kaakibat namin ang iba’t ibang mga government agencies to really address kung ano ang mga problema na nakikita namin upang mabigyan ng agarang solusyon,” he said. 

(We are partnering with different government agencies to really address the problems we are seeing to be given an immediate solution). 

Ilonggos back Whole-of-Nation approach 

 In a message delivered by Maria Lourdes Miado on behalf of Western Visayas National Economic and Development Agency (NEDA) Regional Director Ro-Ann Bacal, the latter called for unity among the people to achieve sustainable peace in the region. 

“Along with other developing countries, our country long for genuine peace and sustainable development. But peace and development in our country, and our region in particular, will remain elusive unless we work together as one,” Bacal said. 

For her part, Western Visayas Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre echoed Bacal’s sentiments, noting that other government agencies aside from the military can also contribute in the work for peace. 

“We work to achieve peace using our ballpens, using our talents, and doing the best that we can to deliver government services,” she said.  

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Capiz Jose Advincula, represented by Father Cyril Villareal, threw the Catholic church’s full support behind the government’s peace efforts. 

“Undeniably, the Whole-of-Nation approach to attain peace is very much aligned with the church’s vision to attain peace.” he said.

By | March 25th, 2019|CPP-NPA-NDF, News, RPM-P/RPA/ABB|0 Comments

GRP Panel to be reconstituted for holistic localized peace engagements

PASIG CITY, March 20, 2019 – The termination of appointments of the members of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Negotiating Panel will pave the way for the creation of an inclusive panel that will supervise localized peace engagements, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Wednesday.

According to Galvez, the composition of the new panel will be based on the Colombian model which includes representatives from different sectoral groups, local government units, and the military whose presence are essential to the peace negotiations.

“The discontinuance of the services of the members of the GRP panel is in line with the termination of peace talks with the NDFP (National Democratic Front Panel). But we will reconstitute the panel at a national scope in accordance with the whole-of-nation approach we are advocating to achieve inclusive and sustainable peace,” he said.

As contained in a letter from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea addressed to the GRP panel members, their services were officially terminated by the Office of the President last March 18, Monday.

The peace talks between the government and NDFP, which represents the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), has been intermittent since it began in 1986.

From 2016, there has been four rounds of talks between the two parties, but the formal negotiation was terminated along with Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) through Proclamation 360 by President Rodrigo Duterte on November 2017 because of intensified NPA offensives on government forces and private installations.

“For 32 years, we didn’t gain anything from the talks, and it is being used by the CPP-NPA as a leverage for them to strengthen their forces and take advantage of the sincerity of the government,” Galvez noted.

Galvez said that President Duterte has ordered the review of past agreements with the NDFP.

“That is why we are temporarily suspending the implementation of The Hague Joint Declaration and Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws (CARHRIHL) until they are fully evaluated by the Office of the President,” he said.

LGUs: Vital partners in peace engagements

The peace adviser also stressed that the participation of the local government in the peace engagements is essential in resolving social issues that have been the root causes of the decades-old insurgency.

“OPAPP and other national government agencies will pour in its resources in support of our local chief executives and local peace bodies in their facilitation of their engagements and interventions,” he said.

In December 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte issued EO 70 which institutionalized a whole-of-nation approach in attaining peace and created a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

During his visit in Negros Occidental last March 8, the peace adviser committed to provide assistance packages to former members and families of Revolutionary Proletarian Army – Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) as well as ex-NPA rebels.

“The EO 70 is very effective in ensuring the delivery of services and social development packages to everyone affected by conflict. We are very confident that the insurgency and its causes will be addressed and resolved under the current administration,” he said.

By | March 20th, 2019|CPP-NPA-NDF, News, RPM-P/RPA/ABB|0 Comments

OPAPP to provide assistance to RPA-ABB members and former NPA rebels

Bacolod City, March 16, 2019 – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will be providing around Php 500 million worth of livelihood and social protection assistance to former members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army – Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) and their families as part of its efforts to achieve inclusive and sustainable peace in the region.

According to Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. during his visit to Negros Occidental last March 8, the assistance package will include social protection programs, capacity development, livelihood and employment assistance, housing assistance and financial assistance to former combatants and their families.

“We are committed to help former combatants in their transformation to productive and normal civilian lives. We want them to feel the dividends of peace,” he said.

The assistance is part of the implementation of the Clarificatory Implementing Document (CID) to the 2000 Peace Agreement, formulated in consultation with the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade Tabara-Paduano Group and Kapatiran para sa Progresibong Lipunan (RPMP/RPA/ABB-TPG/KAPATIRAN) and concurred by various national government agencies.

The CID have five components, namely: Disposition of Arms and Forces (DAF) and Security Arrangements; Social and Economic Reintegration of the RPMP/RPA/ABB-TPG/KAPATIRAN; Release of the remaining Alleged Political Offenders; Transformation of the members into civilian organization engaging in socio-economic and political activities; and Community Peace Dividends.

While the document is expected to be signed this year, the government have already began  undertaking socio-economic interventions to boost development in the communities.

As part of its Community Peace Dividends (CPD) program, 100 barangays jointly identified by TPG and the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police received grants to support livelihood and enterprise development and community-based impact projects.

Ninety one of these areas are from Region VI while some are located in Davao City (6), Bukidnon (2), and Ilocos Sur (1) where community impact projects were implemented by their respective community livelihood associations.

These 100 associations organized under Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan – Department of Social Welfare and Development (PAMANA-DSWD) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) received Php 500,000 seed capital for their own projects.

Under its Socio-Economic Reintegration Program, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) entered into an agreement with the KAPATIRAN for the establishment of Peace Development Community (PDC) sites in 2017 and 2018 to provide support to the social and economic reintegration of their members.

These PDC sites will be provided with housing, tenurial security, access roads, electricity and water, potable water, health services, educational facilities, livelihood assistance and common service facilities.

DENR also engaged with the KAPATIRAN in seedling production and other agro-forestry activities and employed 128 RPA-TPG members as Forest Guards under the National Greening Program.

In the Social Protection Program, 439 members of RPA-TPG and 8,963 individuals from CPD areas are currently beneficiaries of PAMANA-Philhealth Program for 2018 while 60 family members of the group and CPD members are grantees under the PAMANA-Commission on Higher Education (PAMANA-CHED) Study Grant Program.

Meanwhile, Galvez assured members of the New People’s Army (NPA), who opted to return to the mainstream and live a normal and peaceful life, that OPAPP will design an exclusive benefit package aside from the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) benefits they will be receiving.

“We’re hoping that this will attract more rebels to go back to the folds of law,” he said.

Galvez added that his office will continue supporting localized peace engagements as national government-led peace talks were used by the communist insurgents to “regain lost ground and reconstitute its NPA forces.”

“For more than 30 years of negotiations with the NDF (National Democratic Front), the government has given so much concessions just to build confidence, and for them to abandon their armed struggle. But the government did not gain anything from the peace talks” he said.  

The peace adviser also said that a whole-of-nation approach is the most effective way to end the decades-long insurgency in the countryside.

“The promise of the President to achieve enduring peace will be pursued aggressively through EO 70, a mechanism that is timely and effective, given the current state of insurgency,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte issued EO 70 last December 4, 2018 which institutionalize a whole-of-nation approach in attaining peace and creates a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

OPAPP is a member of the task force along with 18 other government agencies. ###


By | March 15th, 2019|CPP-NPA-NDF, News, RPM-P/RPA/ABB|0 Comments

Galvez officially assumes as Presidential Peace Adviser

PASIG CITY, December 21, 2018 — Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who officially assumed as the new Presidential Peace Adviser on Thursday, said his experiences in armed conflict have made him more determined to choose peace in trying to solve political disputes in the country.

“Have you seen the tears of a dying man? I did many times… It is very painful,” he said during the handover rites at the main office of the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

“We cannot go back to war anymore,” he added.

Galvez said some critics “have pointed out that I come from an institution that manufactures war machines.”

“But let me tell you, having been in the military for decades made me see the ugly head of armed conflict. In my early days in the military service, I was wounded in a battle somewhere in the Davao area. That experience has made me choose the path of peace,” he said.

In his farewell speech, former Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said he has “great confidence” that he is handing over the reins of OPAPP ‘to someone I have known… for a long time.”

“There is no other person who can deal with peace than a person who faces war daily in his life as a military person,” he said.

Galvez, who assumed as the 11th Presidential Peace Adviser, is not the first retired general to lead OPAPP.

The first military man to assume the position of peace adviser was General Manuel Yan, who later became an ambassador.

It was under Secretary Yan that the Final Peace Agreement between the government and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) was signed.

Other military men who served as Presidential Peace Adviser were General Eduardo Ermita and General Hermogenes Esperon.

General Avelino Razon, a former chief of police, was also named peace adviser.

Other former top military men also led the government peace panels in the peace negotiations.

Critical crossroad

Galvez thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for the trust and confidence given to him, saying he will do his best to be a good Secretary as the entire peace processes in the country is “at the critical crossroad.”

“We have the plebiscite in Mindanao to win. We have also newly President Duterte’s EO 70 to accomplish. And we have other equally important peace tables that we need to continue to engage with,” he said.

EO 70, which Duterte signed on December 4, 2018, directs the adoption of a national peace framework and institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach to attain “inclusive and sustainable peace” in the country to address the root causes of the armed conflict.

At the same time, Galvez vowed to institute reforms at OPAPP, saying the bottom line is that the agency needs to deliver the services the public deserves.

“Checks and balances, along with fairness, transparency and accountability, will be the cornerstones of my policies as we restructure our organization,” he said.

“I’m committing myself to be a good Secretary. I’ll put my honor, integrity, and position on the line,” he added.


By | December 21st, 2018|CPP-NPA-NDF, MILF, MNLF, News|0 Comments

Dureza lauds Mindanao business community for economic progress in the region

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, October 25, 2018 — Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza lauded the Mindanao business community for its role in the island region’s “amazing transformation.”

In a letter read for him by OPAPP’s Conflict Prevention and Management Unit Director Ferdinand Jovita on Wednesday at the 7th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneur Awards here in this city, Dureza said the economic progress that Mindanao is experiencing now is due to the major contributions made by the business community.

“You are the force behind the island region’s amazing transformation. You are among the reasons Mindanao is no longer considered the hotbed of a raging, decades-old insurgency but a land of vast opportunity and promise,” Dureza said.

Saying peace and development must be pursued simultaneously, Dureza underscored the programs and initiatives that the government is undertaking to move peace forward especially in conflict-affected areas across the southern region.

“This is exactly what we are trying to do in Mindanao, particularly in the implementation of programs and projects in conflict-affected communities. None of these development initiatives will succeed unless they are anchored on the principles of peace, cooperation, and solidarity,” he said.

Ending his message, Dureza urged the business leaders to take a proactive role in peace building.

“May all of you continue to carry out your mission of not only helping create more economic opportunities for our fellow Mindanaoans but, more importantly, take part in the collective effort to bring just and enduring peace in our island-region,” he said.


The 7th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneur Awards was held to recognize entrepreneurs who made valuable contributions in fostering economic growth in the region. ###

By | October 25th, 2018|CPP-NPA-NDF, MILF, MNLF, News|0 Comments

Dureza: Lumad can play a key role in peacebuilding

MARILOG DISTRICT, DAVAO CITY, October 25, 2018 — Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza highlighted the crucial role of local tribal members in peacebuilding, particularly in resolving situations of conflict in their communities.

“You should use your voices. We in government will provide the platform,” Dureza said during the Multi-Stakeholders Peace Forum and Dialogue organized by the Non-Violent Peace Force and supported by the Embassy of Finland.

He noted that indigenous people (IPs) are among the most affected when armed hostilities between government troops and rebel forces break out.

“You, the Lumad, are the ones caught in the crossfire. It is therefore important that we engage you,” Dureza told almost a hundred representatives of the Matigsalog tribe attending the forum.

According to the peace adviser, around 80 percent of those recruited by insurgent groups are Lumad residing in the countryside.

“They (IPs) are the ones easily recruited,” Dureza said.

He said the reason is that those who take part in armed struggle are driven by a perception that they have been forgotten by government and their needs are being ignored.

“They don’t have schools. They are very poor. They don’t have food on their tables,” he said.

Dureza said this is the reason the Duterte Administration is implementing the “whole-of-government approach,” an integrated and holistic strategy of providing much-needed services to communities situated in remote, underdeveloped communities.

“All the government agencies must be involved in this effort. This is why we are here to listen to your concerns. We will amplify your voices,” he said.

Dureza said due to the cancellation of the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the national government is encouraging the conduct of localized peace engagements with the rebels.

He said while the guidelines for these locally-initiated discussions are still being finalized, they are seen as an effective strategy of addressing the country’s decades-long insurgency problem.

“LGUs (local government units) know best who are the ones they should talk to and engage. They (LGUs) are the ones who can find the best solutions,” Dureza said.

Using the “chicken-and-egg analogy,” Dureza emphasized that peace and development should not come one after the other but should happen simultaneously.

“We need to help improve the lives of the people. Peace and development should go hand in hand,” Dureza said.

He said there is now a “greater focus” on the part of the national government to address the roots of the armed conflict in the country.

Although Dureza said the window is still open for the resumption of the peace talks with the communist rebels, the main objective of government is to end the conflict and bring sustainable development to marginalized communities.

“This is easier said than done. Our goal is to put an end to the armed conflict,” he said. ###

By | October 25th, 2018|CPP-NPA-NDF, Indigenous Peoples, News|0 Comments

Dureza stresses importance of inclusivity in peace, dev’t projects

PASIG CITY, September 19, 2018 – Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza today emphasized the need for peace and development programs to benefit not just a few people but the entire community.

“It is very important that while implementing these projects, there is transparency and inclusivity, meaning we should not only touch those who know us personally, or those who support us politically,” he said.

Dureza made the statement at the signing today of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and selected Local Government Units (LGU) to formally launch the Community Peace Dividends Fund (CPDF) Program in this city.

The CPDF is a peace and development program of OPAPP that aims to develop, monitor, and implement conflict-sensitive and peace-promoting livelihood projects.

It is supported by the Spanish Government through the Agencia Española Cooperación Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID).

Dureza signed the MOU on behalf of OPAPP, with Tadian, Mountain Province Mayor Anthony Wooden, Leon B. Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte Mayor Hermogenes Cordova, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon Mayor Reynante Inocando, and Esperanza, Agusan del Sur Sangguniang Bayan Member Nathaniel Cabactulan.

H.E. Amaya Fuentes-Milani, Chargé d’Affaires, Ad interim and Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Spain to the Philippines, and AECID Coordinator General Juan Pita witnessed the signing of the MOU.

“Spain and AECID’s support to this initiative of the Government to implement livelihood projects that are conflict-sensitive and peace-promoting in fragile communities that have gone through conflict, or still suffering from issues of unpeace, is greatly appreciated” Secretary Dureza said.

“Hopefully, this (program) will provide a template, a model we can apply to other areas,” he added.

The program follows the following three contexts: (a) areas under peace agreement implementation or post-conflict situation where the whole bureaucracy of government is addressing the peace and development concerns in these areas; (b) conflict-affected areas where parallel development can be initiated while the peace negotiations are ongoing; and (c) in areas where indigenous peoples are predominant.

The selected areas are identified based on a set of criteria approved by the Project Steering Committee and validated by the Conflict and Vulnerability Index formulated by OPAPP.

The provincial government officials, the security sector, and civil society organizations chose the final municipalities and barangays during the provincial orientation and consultations conducted by the agency.

Fuentes-Milani expressed her optimism that the program “will benefit the communities and will bring together women and men, indigenous groups, elders and youth, to discuss about their priorities and facilitate the path towards a peaceful coexistence.“

“The Government of Spain values the partnership with OPAPP and will remain committed to supporting peace and development in the Philippines as our key priorities,” she said. ###


By | September 19th, 2018|CBA-CPLA, CPP-NPA-NDF, Indigenous Peoples, MILF, MNLF, News|0 Comments

Dureza: Door to talks with Reds still ‘wide open’

QUEZON CITY, September 12, 2018 — Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza today assured the members of the House of Representatives that the government will remain open to the resumption of talks with the communists.

During a meeting with the House Committee on Peace, Unity and Reconciliation, Dureza said that the government peace panel “will continue to pursue the effort in the resumption of peace negotiation.”

“At this point, we still adhere to the statement that the door is still wide open and we will be considering moving towards that,” he said.

The peace adviser reiterated President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s wishes before talks can resume, namely: 1) there should be no coalition government; 2) there should be no collection of revolutionary tax; 3) the venue of the talks should local; and 4) there should be a ceasefire during which members of the New People’s Army would encamp in designated areas.

Dureza said while the government’s current approach is pursuing localized peace talks, he also recognized that negotiations are vital in addressing the root causes of armed struggle.

“We know very well that we cannot finish the insurgency problem by military or police action at all. We have to address the social issues and it can be done if we engage the other side,” he said.

For his part, Government Peace Panel Chair and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III downplayed the exchange of words between Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison and President Duterte, saying these would not hinder the resumption of talks.

“The exchange of words is actually an exchange of words between good friends,” he said.

The House Committee tackled House Resolution 1803 urging President Rodrigo Duterte to resume the peace negotiations with the communists and House Bill 5669 which seeks to establish a Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Program for the Bangsamoro.

The committee adopted both the resolution and the bill. ###


By | September 12th, 2018|CPP-NPA-NDF, News|0 Comments
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