Gov’t ex­plor­ing “cre­ative” ways to deal with com­mu­nist groups

Business World - - THE NATION - Min­danao Bu­reau

THE GOV­ERN­MENT is look­ing at more “cre­ative” ways to deal with the coun­try’s com­mu­nist groups, ac­cord­ing to Pres­i­den­tial Peace Ad­viser Jesus G. Dureza, as it pre­pares to re­sume peace talks along­side the sign­ing of a cease­fire deal. “The key is to find an ‘al­ter­na­tive route’… You can’t kill an idea. You have to ad­dress the root cause why they are re­belling,” Mr. Dureza said dur­ing the An­nual Ple­nary Ses­sion of the Cana­dian Cham­ber of Com­merce of the Philip­pines held in Davao City on Mon­day. He pointed out that “pro­pos­als for ca­pit­u­la­tion or sur­ren­der should not be brought up dur­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions” with the Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines-New Peo­ple’s ArmyNa­tional Demo­cratic Front (CPP-NPANDF), de­spite the Pres­i­dent’s spe­cific or­der to “forge a cease­fire agree­ment” along­side the re­sump­tion of peace talks. “We must work peace by piece,” he said, cit­ing the ex­am­ple of the gov­ern­ment-Moro Is­lamic Lib­er­a­tion Front peace process in which the Bangsamoro De­vel­op­ment Agency was es­tab­lished even while the peace ne­go­ti­a­tions was on­go­ing. Mr. Dureza said they are work­ing to find a “con­ver­gence point” in which both groups “can meet half­way.” —

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