EastMinCom open to local peace talks

DAVAO CITY, Philippines —  The new leadership of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) has recognized the localized peace talks between the city government and the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Davao City.

Newly-installed EastMinCom Commander Lt. Gen Benjamin Madrigal told Davao reporters he welcomes the initiative of Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio to resolve the problem of insurgency in the city ‘peacefully.’

He however said that the peace talks will depend on the direction of national leaders. “We will have to consult our leaders who are actively engaged in the peace process,” Madrigal added.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero said that although he supports the localized peace talks, he cannot ‘discount’ any possible threats to the community. “We cannot discount the fact that as your AFP, we need also to address the armed threats,” he added.

Earlier, Mayor Duterte-Carpio said she is bent to continue the dialogue with the CPP-NPA despite the rejection of the localized peace talks by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). She said that the initiative can help achieve peace in the city. The Local Peace Committee (DC PEACE) was given up to November 30, 2018 to initiate the dialogue.-Armando Fenequito