Duterte okays guidelines for localized peace talks

Pia Ranada
Duterte okays guidelines for localized peace talks

ROBINSON NINAL JR

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to issue an executive order formalizing guidelines for peace talks between local governments and communists in their areas

MANILA, Philippines – While formal peace negotiations between the national government and communists have been postponed, President Rodrigo Duterte has greenlighted  talks between local governments and communists in their respective areas.

Duterte approved the guidelines for the “localized peace talks” on Wednesday, July 11.

The guidelines and framework were discussed and finalized during Duterte’s meeting with his Cabinet security cluster and lawmakers in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on Thursday.

Duterte is set to release an executive order formalizing the guidelines.

Roque said the the elements of the framework and guidelines are as follows:

  • Nationally orchestrated, centrally directed, and locally supervised and implemented
  • Constitutional integrity and sovereignty will not be compromised
  • Complete and genuine resolution of the local armed conflict covering the New People’s Army (NPA), organs of political power, and Militia ng Bayan
  • If there is a ceasefire, the constitutional mandate of the state to protect public safety, civilian welfare, critical infrastructure, and private properties; and the guarantee of rule of law and order will not be compromised at all times
  • Provision of a full amnesty package based on disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration to mainstream society
  • Must be consistent with Philippine Development Plan 2022 and Philippine Development Program 2040

The elements for an  “enabling environment” for localized peace talks include no coalition government or power sharing; no revolutionary taxation, extortion, arson and violent activities; and fighters are to remain in their pre-designated encampment areas.

Aside from localized peace talks, Duterte also approved 3 other modes though which local governments can engage with communists: community dialogue, local peace package, and confidential dialogue.

A local peace package involves the integration of former communists under the government’s peace incentive, without going through peace negotiations; while under a confidential dialogue, a communist rebel decides to lie low but not be documented as doing so, and cannot avail of the peace package program. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.