With President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s recent pronouncement to permanently end talks with members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the Philippine government is resorting to localized peace talks in its bid to end the communist insurgency in the country.
The localized peace talks will be turning to local leaders of New People’s Army (NPA) setting aside the supposed national leaders including CPP-NPA founder Jose Ma. Sison.
With programs that include livelihood, infrastructure, and legal cooperation aimed at addressing social injustices, the local peace talks will be anchored on Executive Order 70 which promotes a “whole-of-nation approach.”
A local peace panel will be created that will “talk to the local leaders of the NPA and the community will be part of that,” said Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief of staff for Civil-Military Operations (CMO).
The role of local leaders is important in the forefront of such local peace talks because they have deeper understanding of the issues, Parlade said.
“We want to reach out to the NPA in the hinterlands through the nuns, priests, local government to help in reaching out to the NPA who are still in the hinterlands,” Parlade said.
Various concerned government agencies will complement each other “to address the issues being raised by the leftist group,” Parlade said.