DAVAO CITY (26 April 2017) – In a meeting with representatives of Indigenous People (IP) dubbed Peace Table Conversations held in Davao City last April 26, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza agreed that various IP concerns should be considered in the talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and in the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) meetings. This is part of the continuing consultations of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) for a more inclusive and transparent peace process.  The next Peace Table Conversations shall be held in other regions in Luzon and Visayas.

A 5-member IP peace panel has been formed to engage and listen to the concerns and recommendations of IPs and present them to the peace negotiating table with the NDFP and deliberations of the BTC. The panel will immediately convene to draft its terms of reference (TOR).  The panel is composed of NCIP Chairperson Leonor Oralde-Quintayo, former NCIP Chairperson Atty. Reuben Dasay Lingating, NCIP Commissioner Era Espana, NAPC-IP Sectoral Council Representative Judith Maranes and ARMM Deputy Governor for IPs, Deonato Mokudef.  OPAPP shall provide secretariat services to the IP panel, with the assistance of former NCIP Commissioner Norma Mapansa-Gonos.

“It is expected that before the forthcoming 5th round of peace talks with the NDFP, the IP panel will have crafted its initial inputs relative to the proposed bilateral ceasefire and the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER). Also, it should be ready to provide comments on the draft law to implement the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB),” says Dureza.

“Hahanap tayo ng pinakamagandang solusyon as of now so that we can move on. Lahat tayo in good faith hahanap ng solusyon so we can erase the gap which is creating the difference. We have to look for ways to close the gap and it requires a lot of good faith, a lot of patience and a lot of prayers,“ says GRP peace panel member Atty. Antonio Arellano.

Other present in the IP peace table conversations were representatives from Lumad Mindanao People’s Federation, IP Mindanao Conference Committee, Women IP Council, NAPC IP-Sectoral Council Members of Mindanao, PGO Davao Oriental Provincial Tribal Affairs Office, and Teduray Lambangian Women’s Organization, Inc.