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New peace panel to give ‘fresh hope’ amid armed conflict in PH — Galvez

/ 09:56 PM April 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The new peace panel will oversee localized peace agreements and provide “fresh hope” amid the decades-long armed conflict in the country, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez said Monday.

Galvez made the statement following President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement on Saturday that he is mulling to form a new peace panel which would negotiate with communist rebels.

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“Through the formulation of the new panel, the government will be directly engaging the people on the ground to address the fundamentals of the problem,” Galvez said in a statement.

Galvez added that the new peace panel will serve as an “adviser for local peace dialogues through the establishment of protocols and other legal and systematic procedures.”

The new panel will be composed of three members from the military and two civilians.

“This is the essence of the peace talks: to have enabling agreements based on mutual trust and understanding. The ultimate objective is to create a just, harmonious, and peaceful society and conflict-resilient communities,” he added.

In March, Duterte ended the negotiations and peace talks with communist rebels.

“I am no longer entertaining any interventions or persuasions in this democratic state of the Republic of the Philippines,” Duterte said.

READ: Duterte shuts door on peace talks: Talk to the next President

Galvez blasts Joma Sison

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison earlier said that the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the negotiating arm of the CPP, does not want to be baited into accepting a “war panel” for the peace talks.

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READ: AFP welcomes Duterte plan to form new peace panel

Galvez, however, slammed Sison, saying that the CPP founder has not lived in the country for a long time and “is no longer in touch with actual realities in the Philippine situation.”

“As the President expressed his intention of peace, it is unfortunate that instead of reciprocating the government’s initiative to move the peace process forward, Joma Sison immediately rejected the idea,” Galvez said.

“And this raises the question: Is Mr. Sison for genuine peace?” Galvez added.

Galvez also claimed that previous communist leaders are only using old agreements “not to pursue real peace but to meet their objective of overthrowing the legitimate government.” He added that the government has learned from previous agreements which only ended being “lopsided.

“The new framework will provide practical, rational, and objective principles of local peace engagements that will end the manipulation and deception against the government and the people,” Galvez said.

“This paradigm shift is the result of historical facts and lessons derived from the previous talks,” he added. /ee

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TAGS: Armed conflict, Carlito Galvez, Peace panel, Peace Talks, Philippine news update
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