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NegOcc eyes panel for local peace talks with CPP-NPA

By Nanette Guadalquiver / Philippine News Agency

PEACE AND ORDER MEETING. Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson (right) presides the Joint Provincial Peace and Order Council-Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council Meeting at the Social Hall of the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City on Wednesday (May 12, 2021). The local peace engagement with the communist-terrorist group in Negros Island was among the initiatives discussed during the activity. (Photo courtesy of PIO Negros Occidental)

BACOLOD CITY – The Negros Occidental provincial government will create a panel that will initiate local peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Wednesday that he will soon issue an executive order for the creation of the provincial peace panel.

“Of course, we will be guided by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) on how to proceed with the negotiation. This is one of the targets of the present administration to end local communist armed conflict,” he added.

The local peace engagement (LPE) was discussed during the Joint Provincial Peace and Order Council-Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council Meeting presided by Lacson at the Social Hall of the Provincial Capitol here.

The LPE aims to achieve community resiliency and cultural harmony, contribute towards good governance, and address insurgency issues.

One of the paths to be taken by the LPE is peace dialogues between the local peace panel and the communist-terrorist group.

This would involve open or discreet peace dialogues, with or without intermediaries, seen to lead to a local peace agreement and the availment of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

The proposed peace panel composition includes the governor as the chairperson and the Philippine Army’s brigade commander as the co-chairperson.

Members include the concerned city and municipal mayors, provincial prosecutor, provincial social welfare and development officer, provincial directors of the Philippine National Police, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.

Also part of the panel are representatives from the OPPAP regional field office, two accredited civil society organizations, church, academe, and IP community.

Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said he supports the conduct of the local peace process.

“I am supportive of this endeavor. This is an opportunity to engage the CTG in Negros and for the people to attain peace in the island,” he added.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)



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