AFP optimistic of ending insurgency via local peace talks

DAVAO CITY--The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is optimistic of ending the communist insurgency in the country through localized peace talks with the support of government agencies.

Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., AFP deputy chief of staff for Civil-Military Operations (CMO), said that a local peace panel will soon be created that will "talk to the local leaders of the NPA and the community will be part of that".

“We want to reach out to the NPA in the hinterlands through the nuns, priests, local government to help in reaching out to the NPA who are still in the hinterlands,” said Parlade who spoke before reporters during Wednesday’s AFP-PNP press briefing at the Royal Mandaya Hotel here.

Parlade said the local peace talks is anchored on Executive Order 70 which promotes a "whole-of-nation approach" with programs that include livelihood, infrastructure, and legal cooperation--all aimed at addressing social injustices.

Parlade underscored the role of local leaders who "will be at the forefront of the talks because they understand the issues more".

He said that part of the framework of the National Task Force (NTF) is modeled from Davao City’s Peace 911. He added that President Rodrigo Duterte already signed the operationalization of the National Task Force to end the local armed conflict.

In the NTF, Parlade said, government agencies will complement each other "to address the issues being raised by the leftist group". Parlade said the proposal was already submitted to the President.

He said the AFP is optimistic of the success of the effort, citing the experience in Mindoro, Bicol, and the Visayas. (PNA)

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