AFP supports planned EO on localized peace talks

MANILA The military on Friday expressed support to President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to issue an executive order on localized peace talks should the peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) do not push through.

"The decision is very apt for the current trend in the field, and the Armed Forces is very much in support of President Duterte's decision to localize the peace talks," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Friday.

He said the decision is very realistic as New People's Army (NPA) rebels are voluntarily surrendering to government forces in many parts of the country.

"Armed NPA regulars are coming down in so many areas around the country and local peace talks is the appropriate approach," Detoyato said.

The AFP earlier announced that NPA forces nationwide are on the decline as some 7,531 rebels and supporters had been neutralized from Jan. 1 to June 28 this year, with 71 killed, 114 captured and 7,346 who voluntarily surrendered.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte will issue an executive order on localized peace talks if the talks between the government and the CPP failed to materialize.

Roque said the guiding framework for localized peace talks was approved during Wednesday's special cluster meeting of the security, justice and peace committees in MalacaAang Palace.

The meeting was attended by the President, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and some members of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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