DC-Peace decides no more peace talks with NPA
DAVAO City Peace Committee (DC-Peace) will no longer spearhead localized talks with the New People's Army (NPA) and will now function as a peace advisory committee tasked to continue peace development in the communities. This was agreed by Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio and DCPeace members during yesterday's meeting following President Rodrigo Duterte's pronouncement declaring members of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) as terrorists last Tuesday.
"Since there is already a policy from the President, what we will do is talk about issues in the community and we will supersede the DC-Peace Executive Order with another Executive Order
and it will be named as Davao City Advisory Committee for Development," Duterte-Carpio said in a press conference yesterday at the City Mayor's Office.
The city mayor said the committee will not talk with the NPA but will instead talk to the communities.
"The committee will talk to the communities now and they will start in Lumiad, Paquibato," she said.
DC-Peace spokesperson lawyer Elisa Lapiña, in a separate press conference, said the committee will be going out to the community and focus more on bringing peace in the hinterlands.
"Ang gusto ni mayor malaman ang problema sa community and we will address it," she said.
Lapiña added that they will not negotiate anymore with the NPAs after they were declared as terrorists.
She said the committee agreed to conduct a strategic planning today as they will be going to an identified area on December 20.
Lapi¤a added that as advisory committee they will go to the area and gather barangay officials and representatives. From there they will identify how to start with the peace work.
Archbishop Romulo Valles, DC-Peace member, said the advisory committee will give the mayor idea on how to pursue peace in a creative way.
DC-Peace consultant Irene Santiago said the committee will listen to the voice of the people in the communities.
She said this time their peace efforts will run from six months and one year.
Duterte-Carpio, in a separate press conference, said the output she wants to get from the committee is to inform the city government about the issues being faced by the communities.
"What we want to do is ask the communities themselves what they need and problems [they are facing]. The advisory committee will tell the mayor's office about these issues," she said.
Duterte-Carpio said since the term "peace and development" has been widely used and has brought a different connotation to people; she assured that DCPeace is different from the government's previous programs.
"It is different because the DC-Peace does not have military members. In fact ang Philippine National Police, which is in-charge with law and order, does not have participation on the DC-Peace, so it is purely social services side, legal side for the city government and the consultants we have invited to the community," she said.
Santiago, in an interview prior to the press briefing of the mayor, said that during the planned visit to Paquibato district on December 20, the committee members will bring limited number of security with them.
I GOT THIS. Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines President Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles holds the arm of a woman as he politely refuses to accept the umbrella offered to him while walking at Rizal Park towards San Pedro Cathedral despite the scorching heat yesterday afternoon in Davao City.