Even before Marawi erupted, former Mayor Omar Solitario contacted me about possible incidents involving the Mautes as his brother, also former Mayor Pre Salic was a relative by affinity of the Mautes in Lanao. He volunteered to help. OPAPP then provided support in his plans of putting back in operation a local radio station that had stopped due to the need to install a new antenna to mobilize listeners how to counter violent extremism. He even published a small book on how to deal with the emergence of violent extremism.

I also arranged a Davao meeting with the President where he offered help. After the meeting, I got him on a consultancy arrangement with OPAPP.

When Marawi erupted, he was sending me timely situation updates and offered if he could initiate talks with the Mautes. After consulting others, I advised him to first refrain from dealing with them as the situation was still fluid consistent with government policy that we cannot undertake peace talks with plain terrorists.

Subsequently, when his name was included in the arrest orders pursuant to the declaration of martial law, I revoked his consultancy arrangement with OPAPP. He later informed me that he left Marawi City and stayed in a safe sanctuary outside the city but he kept in touch making suggestions on how to deal with the developing incidents. He was distressed why his name was included in the list. At one time, when the President was in Cagayan de Oro monitoring Marawi, I arranged his phone call with the President . The president told him over the phone that he instead should talk to me. So I continued handling him.

Later on I was informed that there was an arrangement for him to meet with National Defense Secretary Lorenzana to discuss how he could help government. Since his name was still in the arrest order and in order to enable him to meet with the Defense Secretary in Iligan City or in Marawi, I recommended that a clearance from the SND be issued to allow him to safely travel to meet the SND for the purpose considering there were AFP checkpoints and his name was on the arrest list. I talked with Sec Lorenzana and I was told that a clearance for him was being issued, including his two sons (the latter two not being included in my representations as I did not know them and their activities.)

During our cabinet security cluster meeting at Camp Aguinaldo, I was furnished copies of the clearances signed by Sec Lorenzana and I emailed the copies to Former iligan Mayor Franklin Quijano to pass them on to Omar Solitario. I also later called Solitario that he should directly arrange the planned meeting with SND as OPAPP does not get involved in AFP operational matters.

Statement of Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza on the cancellation of backchannel talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF

I am announcing the cancellation of backchannel talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF originally set within the next few days in Europe due to recent developments involving attacks done by the NPAs.

The situation on the ground necessary to provide the desired enabling environment for the conduct of peace negotiations are still not present up to this time.

Closing Message of Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on the occassion of the Closing Ceremony of the Fourth Round of Peace Talks

6 April 2017 | Noordwilk Aan Zee, The Netherlands

We conclude today the fourth round of talks in exuberance knowing that it has contributed immensely to the quest for an enduring peace for our people. By this common ground, we forged yesterday an agreement on the Interim Joint Ceasefire. This is a significant milestone in the peace process given the divide that has characterized it for decades. Let this Interim Ceasefire progress towards a permanent one.


Closing Statement on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER)

The Parties agree to conclude the unfinished distribution of land and do this for free for the landless and poor farmers, farm workers, and fisherfolk, with just compensation to owners. The immediate focus is the distribution of the remaining balance of the lands for distribution under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL).


Opening statement of Secretary Jesus G. Dureza on the Fourth Round of Peace Talks

Opening statement of Secretary Jesus G. Dureza on the Fourth Round of Peace Talks
3 April 2017 | Radisson Blue Palace Hotel, Noordijk, The Netherlands

(Greetings and thanks to the Norwegian host, the CPP/NPA/NDF, the government panel, guests, media and participants.)

It is the wish of President Duterte to achieve a lasting, sustainable and principled peace.

Today we witness history. The talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF panel has never gone this far before. In this 4th round of peace talks, we shall tackle the heart and soul of the peace process, the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

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.


Statement of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus G. Dureza on the CPP/NPA/NDF’s call to proceed with the bilateral ceasefire negotiations

We welcome and respect the positive position coming from the leadership of the CPP/NPA/NDF. On the part of the Philippine government, we share the same commitment to work for just and lasting peace in the land. When “compelling reasons,” as President Duterte earlier announced, are present, then we in government shall take the next necessary steps. ###