PASIG CITY (20 March 2023) – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) stressed that all its initiatives are conflict-sensitive and peace promoting (CSPP) and thus, will never be involved in any act of intimidation.

This was the assurance given by OPAPRU Presidential Assistant Atty. Wilben M. Mayor after the Gabriela Partylist alleged that personnel of the agency harassed one its members, Elizabath Maynigo last March 17.

“Mariin po nating itinatanggi na nangyari itong insidente na ayon sa Gabriela, involved po ang mga kasamahan natin dito,” Mayor said in a live interview over the Laging Handa public affairs program on Monday.

“Kami po, ang ine-emphasize namin ang conflict-sensitivity and peace promoting. Kaya ang OPAPRU po, ang palaging focus at mandato ng ating mga kasamahan ay palagi pong conflict-sensitive — at palagi pong kapayapaan ang nasa isip,” he emphasized.

According to Mayor, the OPAPRU is guided by its vision of bringing a “just and lasting peace for the nation and all Filipinos” and its mission “to manage, direct, integrate, and supervise the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Process.”

He said these interventions also aim to promote and reinforce national reconciliation and unity based on Executive Order 158, which re-organized the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as OPAPRU.

Mayor said OPAPRU’s mandate is dovetailed to the Marcos Administration’s Five-Point Peace, Reconciliation and Peace Agenda, which includes the “ending of local communist armed conflict by expanding the transformation programs for local conflict peace process.”

This is the reason why, he said, why the agency is spearheading the Local Peace Engagement (LPE), as well as a Transformation Program under the government’s “whole-of-nation” approach in addressing the decades-long communist insurgency.

The LPE and its Transformation Program are being implemented by the National Task Force to Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict’s (NTF-ELCAC) LPE Cluster, which is co-chaired by the OPAPRU and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Mayor explained that the LPE aims to help former rebels, now referred to as “friends rescued,” in returning to the fold of the law, reintegrating themselves into mainstream society, and becoming peaceful and productive members of their communities.

“Sa pamamagitan ng whole-of-nation approach, ay na-address po natin ang mga issues sa local communities at sinisiguro natin na ‘yung mga communist terrorist group ay hindi na makakabalik doon sa mga communities,” he said.

“Ini-encourage natin na silang bumalik sa batas at ma-mainstream sila sa society. Ganoon din ‘yung mga komunidad na kung saan dating magulo ay naayos na ito at naging mapayapa,” Mayor added.

The Transformation Program, on the other hand, he said, seeks to provide the necessary socio-economic assistance that will enable the FRs to sustain their peace journey and successfully complete their transition into civilian life.

“Hindi lang po ito tumitigil sa pagbibigay sa kanila ng livelihood…sinisiguro natin na tuloy-tuloy ang [pagbabagong] buhay nila. Bibigyan natin sila ng maayos na pamumuhay, edukasyon [at] kinakapaciate natin sila [sa] pagbalik nila sa society,” Mayor said.

“Isa ring layunin nito ay masiguro natin ang mga komunidad na na-clear na ng mga communist terrorist group ay hindi na po dapat balikan at hindi kayang balikan at maging resilient na po ito,” he added.

Mayor is confident that the initiatives being carried out by the OPAPRU under the LPE and Transformation Program is now gaining major headway due to the positive changes seen in the lives of FRs and their communities.

“Tuloy-tuloy ang pagpapatupad ng programang ito para po mahikayat po natin ang ating mga [FRs]  na bumalik na sa pamahalaan at tuluyan nang itakwil ang itong communist terrorist group,” he said. ###