By Yas D. Ocampo
Davao City — The local government will continue to pursue localized peace talks with Communist rebels despite uncertainties in the negotiations between the Philippine government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the main negotiating arm of the insurgents.
This, after Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio formalized yesterday the creation of a localized peace committee with the issuance of an executive order.
“It is the obligation of your duly elected public officials to pursue just and lasting peace for the city, we have created the Davao City – Local Peace Committee (DC – PEACE) with the objective and the function to manage the localized peace talks with the New People’s Army operating within the area of responsibility of Davao City,” Carpio said.
The peace committee will be composed of representatives from various local government departments, and from the private sector and non-government organizations.
Carpio named City Social Services and Development Office head Maria Luisa Bermudo, lawyer Elisa Lapina of the City Legal Office, Barangay Malabog Chairman Jessielito Areja, and Archbishop Romulo Valles of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
“We have also tapped consultants to assist us,” Mayor Duterte said.
The lady mayor said that she was open to tapping a chairperson who could come from the private sector.
“We welcome your suggestions,” Carpio said.
According to the mayor, the committee will exist for around one year, until November, 2018.
“If there are no significant developments and movement in the localized process, we will pursue other options to attain peace,” Carpio said. “I am asking our New People’s Army (NPA) friends to work with us in the local government. After all, we all want to see a better Davao and we surely can attain this if you work beside us.”
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