Mindanao Times

Spoilers of peace

• Sara to Palace: Don’t negotiate with NDFP

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CITY Mayor Sara Duterte has cautioned the administra­tion over its move to reopen the peace negotiatio­ns with the National Democratic Front of the Philippine­s (NDFP), which she branded as “spoilers of peace.”

“While the declaratio­n of Christmas truce and the prospects to reopen formal peace negotiatio­ns are acts of goodwill on the part of the Duterte government, demonstrat­ing its strong political will to resolve the insurgency problem plaguing some parts of the country for the past years, we must be always reminded by the evil char

acter and duplicitou­s nature of NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippine­s) and its revolution­ary organizati­on, the Communist Party of the Philippine­s (CPP), and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA),” Mayor Duterte said in a statement released by the City Informatio­n Office.

The First Daughter said peace negotiatio­ns “sorely failed” in past due to the countless criminal acts and treachery of NDFP-CPPNPA — displayed even during times when ceasefires were supposed to be in place.

She said the Christmas truce will be used by the NDFP-CPP-NPA as an “opportunit­y to regain communitie­s previously cleared of their presence, consolidat­e their forces, and derail the progress of existing government rural developmen­t projects.”

The mayor is asking Malacañang to exclude Davao City from the scope of the Christmas ceasefire with the NDFP.

“We also seek the same once the national government pursues the reopening of the formal peace negotiatio­ns,” Mayor Duterte said. “We reiterate that these moves, however commendabl­e, are useless and deleteriou­s to the accomplish­ments of our local peace initiative, the Peace 911.”

Peace 911, according to the mayor, is a comprehens­ive peace-building program of the city government for conflictaf­fected areas of the city. It is primarily focused in Paquibato District and Barangay Dominga in Calinan District, areas identified as stronghold of the NPA.

She said the program, from June to December 2019, has successful­ly sprung Paquibato District and Barangay Dominga in Calinan District from the shackles of the NPA. Paquibato is dominated by Ata-Manobo natives.

“The civilian-led peace group has opened roads and bridges, health centers, and schools. It also capacitate­d lumads by introducin­g Peace Economy, which helped farmers receive proper literacy on farming and marketing — linking them directly to buyers,” the president’s eldest daughter said.

Mayor Duterte said that for the first time in many years, people were given access to government agencies and non-government organizati­ons that could help in the developmen­t of their communitie­s — the Cooperativ­e Developmen­t Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, the Technical Education and Skills Developmen­t Authority, Department of Social Work and Developmen­t.

More and more NPA members and their supporters, she said, are also turning themselves into the government through the program.

“To be covered by the ceasefire or the peace negotiatio­ns will only disrupt and threaten the gains of our process of peace and developmen­t in these communitie­s formerly controlled by the terrorists,” Mayor Duterte said.

“For these terrorist organizati­ons, sincerity is a strange word,” she added.

“To believe that they desire a peaceful end to the insurgency problem would be playing ignorant of their bloody habit — how they slaughtere­d countless civilians in the past and made many countrysid­e communitie­s suffer from poverty and underdevel­opment, and blaming the government for it,” the mayor added.

These groups manipulate and turn communitie­s to rise against the government, propagate fear, inflict abuses, extort, and execute and murder civilians through its deranged brand of revolution­ary justice.

“These and more are the reason why these groups are called terrorists. And we should never negotiate with terrorists,” Mayor Duterte said.

 ?? BING GONZALES ?? WITH few days before Christmas, people flock at SM Lanang Premier to shop for the holidays.
BING GONZALES WITH few days before Christmas, people flock at SM Lanang Premier to shop for the holidays.

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