Mayor Inday scraps local talks with Reds
Mayor Inday Sara Duterte has canceled the localized peace negotiation with the New People’s Army (NPA) following the declaration by President Rodrigo Duterte of the communist rebels as terrorists.
However, Mayor Inday did not dissolve the Davao City Peace committee (DC-PEACE) – which had spearheaded efforts to strike peace with NPA rebels operating in the city.
Instead, she renamed it the Davao City Advisory Committee for Peace and Development (DC PEACE Dev). She also gave it a new mandate.
“Since the policy of the government is to never negotiate with terrorists, what we are going to do is to talk to the community about their issues through the DC-PEACE Dev,” Mayor Inday said.
She said she will formalize the renaming of DC-PEACE into the DC Peace Dev with the issuance of another Executive Order.
Mayor Inday said the new body will serve as the medium between the city government and far-flung communities to resolve their issues and concerns.
“The output of the talk will be used by the city government of Davao to address the issues the communities are experiencing. We acknowledge that they have issues with regard to the services of the government,” she said.
Mayor Inday said she was also leaving the NPA issue to the military.
DC Peace Dev spokesperson and lawyer Eliza Lapeña said that the new role of the committee is to build peace tables, which communities can use as sounding boards.
“What we are going to do is go to the hinterlands and build peace tables, where the community can raise their concerns so that the government can address it,” she said.
Lapeṅa said that they will start talking to residents of hinterland communities in the city on December 20. CIO