Wednesday, September 26, 2018
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Gov’t pushes localized peace talks with Reds

Malacañang will soon issue an executive order on the guidelines that would govern the conduct of localized peace talks between local chief executives and communist rebels in their respective localities.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the guidelines, which were tackled in a special cluster meeting on Wednesday, would authorize local officials to engage in peace talks with the rebels.

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“The guiding framework for localized peace engagements was agreed upon…” Roque said on Thursday. “There will be an executive order that will spell out the guidelines that were agreed upon.”

He said the Cabinet’s security, justice and peace clusters held the special meeting to thresh out the guidelines for local officials engaging in localized peace talks.

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The government took this new tack after Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair Jose Maria Sison rejected President Duterte’s condition to hold peace talks in the Philippines.

Seven guidelines

“If Sison does not want to have the peace talks here in the Philippines, our local government officials will be given the power to engage in localized peace talks,” Roque said.

He said seven guidelines would form part of the framework to be issued by the Palace:

-A nationally orchestrated, centrally directed and locally supervised and implemented peace talks.

-Noncompromise of constitutional integrity and sovereignty.

-Complete and genuine resolution of the local armed conflict.

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-Noncompromise of 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.

-Government goodwill, full amnesty package based on disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration to the mainstream of society.

No revolutionary taxes

Local venue, no coalition government or power-sharing, no revolutionary taxes, extortion, arson and violent activities and the fighters to remain in encampment areas as the necessary enabling environment set by the President for the formal local talks to proceed.

The substantive agenda will be based on the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan and Philippine Development Program 2040.

Roque said the four types of localized peace engagement include localized peace talks, community dialogue, local peace package and confidential dialogue.

He said the localized peace talks would be between the local peace panel and the local fighters’ leadership.

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TAGS: communist rebels, Jose Maria Sison, Peace Talks
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