New approach’ to address issues on the table and on the ground — Deles
Posted on Tuesday, 30 April, 2013 – 15:18
In developing a new approach to peace negotiations with the Communist rebels, the government is undertaking discussions and consultations with civil society groups and various sectors, according to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles.
“The peace panel is conducting consultations with stakeholders nationwide, side by side with inter-agency discussions and workshops within government, to be able to bring in everyone’s input,” Deles said.
The consultations, which started in mid-April, have been held in Bacolod, Davao, Metro Manila and Naga.
“This (approach) will seek to address concerns both on the peace table and on the ground, especially among the communities most affected by the conflict. We are not ready to give details at this time,” she said.
The Secretary added that “the government remains committed to end all internal armed conflict through a multi-track approach.”
Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel chair Alexander Padilla said earlier that the P-Noy administration is considering the “new approach” to peacefully resolve the armed conflict with the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) amid the 22-month impasse in the negotiations and the mounting violence inflicted by the NPA on civilian targets.
Previously, CPP leader Jose Maria Sison proposed the Special Track (ST) in place of the stalled regular track to fast-track the negotiations through an agreement on a Draft Declaration on National Unity and Just Peace which would lead to an immediate ceasefire and creation of a Committee for National Unity, Peace and Development. The ST imposed no preconditions and would skirt the protracted process of the regular track. However, the rebel leadership “killed their own initiative,” Padilla said.
“The CPP/NPA/NDF killed their own initiative and the government does not want to return to the regular track which has been protracted and has not brought us any closer to peace,” Padilla added. Thus, the government is looking at a new approach that will finally put an end to the decades-long violent struggle.
“Any new approach should be time-bound and agenda-bound,” said Padilla. “Just look at the negotiations with the MILF and other peace negotiations abroad such as the current Colombian talks where results are there after a given period of time.”
Padilla reiterated the need for the cessation of hostilities given that over the 46 years since the insurgency began, thousands of civilians have already suffered the brunt of the armed violence.
“They should put an end to the senseless violence they are inflicting on our people especially on innocent civilians.” #
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