LAGAWE, Ifugao The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) passed a joint resolution supporting the resumption of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Communist Party of the Philippines–National Democratic Front–New Peoples Army (CPP-NDF-NPA) to eventually put an end to violence around the country and attain just and lasting peace.
However, the resumption of the peace talks should be subject to the conditions imposed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte wherein the CPP-NDF-NPA must stop claiming a portion of the Philippine archipelago as its territory, stop collecting revolutionary taxes, stop atrocities against government forces and government installations and abandon its proposal for a shared power in managing the affairs of the government.
On the May 2, 2018 Cordillera dialogue on peace and development, the participating non-government organizations (NGOs) petitioned for the immediate resumption of peace talks between the GRP and the CPP-NDF-NPA to end violence and attain just and lasting peace in the country.
During the said dialogue initiated by the RDC-CAR and its partner NGOs, the participants expressed the need to end hostilities between the GRP and the CPP-NDF-NPA to ensure the protection of service-oriented NGOs from alleged political persecution and thus facilitate the provision of much needed services in the far flung areas of the region.
On the May 15-16, 2018 regional consultation on the pace talks between the GRP and the CPP-NDF-NPA held in Baguio City, the RDC-CAR and the RPOC jointly passed a statement of commitment to the call to end violence and to the attainment of permanent ceasefire in the country.
In the same statement, the RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR affirmed that one of the foundations of inclusive growth and sustainable development is just and lasting peace.
The resolution noted that for the government to fulfil its obligation in serving remote conflict-affected areas and conflict-vulnerable areas, it shall endeavour to resume the peace talks that shall end violence and attain permanent ceasefire.
The RDC-Car and RPOC-CAR cited that Chapter 17 of the Regional Development Plan of the Cordillera Administrative Region states economic growth cannot be sufficient, buoyant, sustained nor inclusive without durable and enduring peace.
Ironically, the scheduled resumption of the formal talks between the GRP and the CPP-NDF-NPA on June 28, 2018 was adjusted to allow consultations with the members of the ‘bigger peace table’ for inputs as the peace talks seek to strike an interim agreement premises on a ‘stand down agreement’ which seeks to create a favourable atmosphere for the eventual resumption of the formal peace negotiations to put an end to the nearly five decades of violence.
By Dexter A. See