MANILA The proposed new peace panel that will oversee localized peace engagements is a welcome development in the government's efforts to attain just and lasting peace, an official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.
"Fifty years of deception, lies, exploitation of the IP (Indigenous Peoples) and extortion is enough. We are prepared to offer not only the hand of peace but the whole arm if need be," Col. Noel Detoyato, AFP public affairs office chief, told reporters in a text message on Monday.
Over the weekend, President Rodrigo R. Duterte mentioned his intention to create a new peace panel with at least three representatives from the military.
Detoyato said in order for this to proceed, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria "Joma" Sison must show good faith and credibility.
"But first, Mr. Sison has to show sanity and coherence. He must also accept the fact that there are many roads towards peace but the road he has taken is not one of them. Let's go local. Let's help each other here in the Philippines. The problem is here, not in the Netherlands," he said.
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez, Jr., earlier said through the new peace panel, the government will be directly engaging the people on the ground to address the fundamentals of the problem.
He said the new peace panel is in line with the whole-of-nation approach as embodied in Executive Order 70, which provides for the creation of a national task force to end local communist armed conflict, as well as the adoption of a national peace framework that will contain policies addressing the root causes of insurgencies.
Galvez said it is through localized peace engagements where the government can create an environment for the peace process to move forward. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency