Cordillera officials discuss terms for peace with reds

Government negotiators tasked to secure peace with the National Democratic Front (NDF) motored to Baguio City today to hold a two-day consultation-workshop with government officials and community leaders of the Cordilleras on proposed social and economic reforms being discussed with communist guerrillas.
The consultation-workshop, being held at the Albergo Hotels, also seek to solicit inputs from the local officials and community leaders of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) regarding concerns on the proposed joint ceasefire agreement with communist rebels.
“This activity is part of the government panel’s nationwide consultations with relevant stakeholders to collect inputs, test the validity of its positioning and encourage buy-ins for the on-going peace negotiations,” explained former Agrarian Reform Sec. Hernani Braganza, the panel member supervising the discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and joint ceasefire agreement.
“We are your negotiators. What we want to discuss in the negotiating table with the NDF is your position on issues affecting your communities. Now is the time for the Cordillerans to speak up and voice out your concerns with regard to the peace negotiation,” Braganza added.
He explained that the outputs of the consultation-workshop, held under the auspices of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), will be included as inputs to the fifth round of formal peace negotiation with the NDF scheduled in The Netherlands from May 27 to June 1, 2017.
The government and the NDF had previously conducted four rounds of formal peace negotiations under the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, achieving breakthroughs in CASER discussions, ceasefire agreement and implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHR-IHL).
For CASER, both panels had agreed to accelarate the discussion through formation of bilateral teams that meet regularly in Manila in between formal rounds of peace negotiation. The discussions intend to flesh out an agreement on free land distribution for a proposed agrarian reform program.
During the fourth round of peace talks, held in Noordwidjk Ann Zee in The Netherlands last March, both panels also agreed to craft a joint ceasefire agreement that will provide cessation of hostilities pending the signing of a final peace agreement. The terms of reference (TOR) of the joint ceasefire is now under discussion in Manila.
The third round of peace talks, held in Rome last January, produced an agreement providing supplementing guidelines for the operationalization of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the CARHR-IHL.
The CARHR-IHL was signed by the government and the NDF in 1998, but it was only under the term of President Duterte that it was made fully operational.
The agreement recognized the need to apply human rights principles when responding to the armed conflict. It obligated both parties to promote the respect of and adherence to international humanitarian law among its forces. It emphasized the urgency of protecting the civilian population.
Braganza noted that side from CASER and joint ceasefire, both panels will also discuss their respective positions on the proposed Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (PCR) on the next round of talks in The Netherlands.
“At the moment, discussions were being conducted extensively on CASER since forging an agreement on social and economic reforms is acknowledged by parties to be central to reaching unity and peace,” he explained.
“We will also focus on the joint ceasefire since forging a bilateral ceasefire is considered to be of parallel importance to provide an enabling environment for reforms to take place,” he added.
Braganza said the consultation-workshop in Baguio City is the first under the RDC and RPOC mechanism, and will be replicated in other regions in between formal rounds of negotiations abroad.
“We will try to bring to the negotiating table as many voices as possible. The final peace agreement is not for government, but for the entire Filipino nation,” he pointed out.

Dureza champions Cordillera autonomy

BAUKO, Mountain Province (24 April 2017) – “There should only be one united effort towards autonomy for the Cordillera, that is our main intention.” This was the message of Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jesus G. Dureza during the first Forum on Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Regional Autonomy dubbed as “Pioneer Cordillera Champions Coming Together” held at Mount Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province on Monday.

The forum attended was attended by 200 participants including representatives of various Cordillera rebel factions and other groups namely the CPLA and Cordillera Bodong Association (CPLA-CBA), Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), Cordillera Broad Coalition (CBC), Cordillera Regional Consultative Commission (CRCC), and North Luzon Coalition for Good Governance (NLCGG), civil society, local government units and national government agencies.  It was organized by the Cordillera Regional Development Council and NEDA-CAR in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process as a venue for continuing dialogue with Cordillera peace stakeholders.

The Cordillera groups together with the local chief executives and representatives of the six provinces of the Cordillera and the City of Baguio expressed total support for the passage of House Bill 5343, “An Act Establishing the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera” which was filed recently in Congress.

Secretary Dureza advised that there should first be peace and unity among the tribes.  He said, “In the road map for the Cordillerans, you may have different tribes but there is only one destination, so even despite your factions, let’s now try and converge these different roads towards one destination – just autonomy for the Cordillerans.”

In the same event, OPAPP Undersecretary for Peace Accords Nabil Tan, who was part of the initial efforts in the establishment of the Autonomous Region on the Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), shared the initial challenges of transformation into an autonomous region.  He advised that the CAR people should understand and support the movement for autonomy prior to the conduct of a plebiscite.

Baguio City Mayor and CAR Regional Development Council (RDC) Chair Mauricio Domogan said that the new proposed bill reiterates the Cordillera people’s united stand for genuine regional autonomy. “We had been totally neglected by the national government for a long period of time and so it is time to support and pass the bill,” said Mayor Domogan.

Cordillerans unite for peace

CORDILLERANS UNITE FOR PEACE. “I got the message that that there is already a clear indication that everybody would like to converge, kaya nga nandito kami, we are not going to assure anything. We just would like to hear from you that there is already a unity in this and that we would like to help you push this forward,” Peace Adviser Sec. Jesus G. Dureza addresses the advocates of the autonomy for Cordillera region on 24 April 2017 at Mt. Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province.

“Napakahalaga na makarating ito sa stakeholders mismo… Go for selling this to your people on the ground. Hindi lang dito sa itaas, hindi lang sa mga political leaders, hindi lang sa mga CSOs, yung taong bayan mismo must have the ownership, hindi lang yung maiintindihan nila pero aakuin din nila na kanila ‘yan,” Sec. Dureza also emphasized that aside from having a strong and united voice in pushing for Cordillera’s autonomy, it is also important that the Cordillerans themselves must have the ownership of the responsibility to fight for their cause. #PILIPINOtayoPEACEtayo

Statement of Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza on his meeting with President Duterte regarding updates on the peace process with some Cabinet members, including Secretaries Silvestre Bello III, Liza Masa, Judy Taguiwalo, and Rafael Mariano at Malacañang

We met with President Duterte until late last night and discussed the directions and possible next steps in our peace engagements with the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF), the Bangsamoro, the Cordillerans, and the other stakeholders.


“Autonomy must be inclusive” – Peace Secretary Dureza

TABUK, Kalinga, February 13, 2017 – “We should listen to everyone”, this was the message of autonomy champion and Peace Adviser Sec. Jesus Dureza before the Cordillera Regional Development Council in Tabuk, Kalinga during its meeting on February 13, 2017. Said meeting was hosted by the province which coincided with its 22nd Foundation Day and 1st Bodong Festival.


Rody tells gov’t panel: No ceasefire, no release

President Rodrigo Duterte has given instructions to Labor Secretary and government chief peace negotiator Silvestre ‘Bebot’ Bello III and panel member Angela Librado-Trinidad to produce a signed bilateral ceasefire agreement before he will order a substantial release of detained communist rebels.

Declaration of restoration of ceasefire

I am pleased to announce that President Rodrigo Duterte has restored the effects of the unilateral ceasefire with the CPP/ NPA/NDF effective 12 midnight tonight, 21 August 2016. The duration of the ceasefire will last for as long as necessary to bring peace in the land and also in order to provide an enabling environment for the success of the peace negotiations that will start in Oslo, Norway on August 22.


Gains of Cordillera peace process key to region’s bid for autonomy

BAGUIO CITY – During the event of the 29th founding anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus G. Dureza underscored the importance of the strides of the peace process in pursuing the region’s aspiration for self-determination and autonomy.


By | July 19th, 2016|CBA-CPLA, News|0 Comments
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