PBBM eyes localized peace talks with Reds

The administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. eyes peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday.

“We want peace and order in the Philippines and we are also encouraging that all CPP-NPA members also will talk with us,” Galvez said during the Laging Handa briefing.

Galvez said though that the peace dialogue with the communist rebels would stay at the local level, while the government’s peace negotiators are awaiting the President’s guidance.

“For the process of the negotiation with the CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front) in Norway, we will await the guidance of the President,” he said.

He said there is a possibility that roughly 10,000 communist rebels might be granted amnesty.

The peace negotiations between the national government and the NDF have been intermittent since 1986.

In 2017, then-President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation 360, terminating the national government’s peace talks with the CPP-NDF following a series of attacks waged by the NPA rebels against state forces and civilians.

A year later, however, Duterte signed Executive Order 70, institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach that will be implemented by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to achieve “inclusive and sustainable peace.”

Under EO 70, local peace bodies are directed to negotiate with communist rebels in their respective areas.

The United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines have declared the CPP-NPA a terrorist organization.

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