Duterte forms nat’l task force to end local communism
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has created a national task force to end local communist armed conflict in the Philippines.
Duterte signed on December 4 Executive Order No. 70, which copy was only made available to the media on Monday.
Under the EO, Duterte directed the adoption of a national peace framework and institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach in attaining to attain “inclusive and sustainable peace” in the country.
Duterte said “there is a need to create a national task force that will provide an efficient mechanism and structure for the implementation of the whole-of-nation approach to aid in the realization of the collective aspiration of the Filipino people to attain inclusive and sustainable peace.”
“The government shall prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict-affected areas and vulnerable communities, facilitate societal inclusivity, and ensure active participation of all sectors of society in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda,” Duterte said.
Duterte will be the chair of the task force while the national security adviser will be his vice-chair.
Members of the task force included secretaries of interior, justice, defense, public works, budget, finance, agrarian reform, social welfare, education, communications operations office; the director generals of National Economic and Development Authority and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Other members are the presidential adviser on peace process, presidential adviser for the indigenous peoples’ concerns, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, director general of the Philippine National Police, chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous People, and two representatives from the private sector.
Duterte ordered the task force “to formulate and start to implement in coordination with relevant national government agencies, local government units, civil society groups and other stakeholders.”
The President said “the framework shall contain principles, policies, plans and programs that will bring inclusive and sustainable peace, and address the root causes of insurgencies, internal disturbances and tensions as well as other armed conflicts and threats in identified areas.”
“Framework shall be responsive to local needs and sensitive to realities on the ground,” he said.
“The framework shall include a mechanism for localized peace engagements or negotiations and interventions that is nationally orchestrated, directed and supervised, while being locally implemented,” he added.
The initial funding requirements for the implementation of the order, Duterte said, should be charged against existing appropriations of member-agencies of the Task Force and such other appropriate funding sources as the Department of Budget and Management may identify. /kga
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