By Yas Ocampo
DAVAO CITY – Davao Regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) said it supported the call of the Duterte Administration of a more localized peace talk negotiations with the New People’s Army.
The organization, which was recently accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as a regional political party, said it was supportive of the advice of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to pursue the local talks.
“The HNP officers recognize that the localization of the peace negotiations currently being pushed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government is one of the better options left for us to move forward following disconcerting developments with the formal peace process,” the HNP said in a statement sent to reporters late Tuesday night.
“The officers are in agreement that Region XI’s five provinces and Davao City should pursue peace talks with the NPA at the regional level on the basis of guidelines that shall be released by DILG. And submit the same idea to the Regional Peace and Order Council for the council members’ consideration,” the HNP said.
“The Party believes that security is the foundation of development and the cornerstone of a stable society.”
Both sides of the peace panel of the Communist Party of the Philippines/National Democratic Front of the Philippines/New People’s Army and the Philippine Government are currently still looking at the possible continuation of the talks, according to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
Last July 8, Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said President Rodrigo Duterte said in Davao City that the doors to peace were still “wide open.”
“We have not closed the doors to peace. Hence, efforts to pursue peace through negotiations are still possible. As I said, the doors are still wide open for both sides to work on. When that precise time comes, we at OPAPP will again seek the President’s guidance as we proceed to do our mandated task to bring just and sustainable peace in the land — a dream of every Filipino, and that of President Duterte,” Dureza said.
Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is one of the main movers of the regional party.
Mayor Duterte has repeatedly said there were no longer talks to be pursued with the rebels in and around the city, with the local government reaching out to the communities affected by insurgency instead.
Davao City, for its part, has instituted a Peace 911 council, a group of individuals tasked to speak with upland communities to address local roots of rebellion and address it from a development perspective