Duterte urged to reconsider move to dismantle peace panel | Inquirer News

Duterte urged to reconsider move to dismantle peace panel

/ 03:07 PM March 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte should “reconsider” his decision to dismantle the peace panel coordinating with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), opposition senatorial bet Samira Gutoc said Thursday, as she branded the move as a “backward step for peace and security.”

“I ask the President to reconsider this move and always make an effort to pursue peace. Don’t let this be the final nail in the coffin of an already inactive peace negotiations,” Gutoc said in a statement.

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Malacañang earlier said the President terminated the appointment of Labor Secretary and chief government negotiator Silvestre Bello III and four other peace panel members more than a year after Duterte signed Proclamation No. 360 that terminated the peace talks with the communists in November 2017.

READ: Duterte cancels appointment of Bello, 4 others as gov’t peace negotiators

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Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said “it bodes ill for the cause of genuine and lasting peace in the country” that the Chief Executive has dissolved the peace panel.

He warned that the move could be a “prelude to a more intensified militaristic solution to the country’s five-decade-old rebellion” and would cause “more displacements of our poor people and violations of human rights.”

Both Gutoc and Zarate believe that the government should go back to the negotiating table and resume the peace talks towards a just and lasting peace.

READ: Reds respect Duterte’s termination of gov’t peace panel

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has announced that Duterte would launch a new panel of negotiators for the administration’s planned localized peace talks. /ee

READ: Palace: Duterte to create a new panel of gov’t peace negotiators

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TAGS: National Democratic Front of the Philippines, NDFP, Peace panel, Philippine news update, Rodrigo Duterte
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