Cordillera leaders press peace talks between government, CPP-NPA

>> Sunday, July 8, 2018

By Marlo T. Lubguban

LAGAWE, Ifugao -- The joint Regional Development Council and Regional Peace and Order Council meeting recently held a meeting here to address peace concerns in the Cordillera like resumption of peace talks between the government and Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front.   
Also discussed were accreditation of civil society organizations that will facilitate access to far-flung areas to provide aid and services and untagging of the seven Cordillerans from the Dept of Justice list of terrorists and need for consultation on the massive Chico river pump irrigation project. 
Both councils tasked the RDC private sector representatives to lead consultations between CSOs and line agencies in coordination with Natioal Economic Development Authority to facilitate the CSO accreditation system.
This task recognizes that PSRs are the most appropriate to work with the CSOs as the former generally represent the latter in the RDC.
The councils decided to defer passing the resolution to request untagging of various Cordillerans as terrorists.
It was agreed that Dept. of Local Government will write the DOJ to find out more procedure of tagging and untagging.
The RPOC also committed to verify with various intelligence agencies the basis of the tagging.
On the resumption of peace talks between the government and the CPP-NPA-NDF, both councils approved a resolution supporting the administration’s resumption of peace talks between the GRP and the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Addressing military and NPA encounters, RDC PSR Andres Ngao-i urged the body to move even further and conduct localized peace talks between the government and the CPP-NPA-NDF within their respective municipalities.
Former Mayor and OPAPP representative Tom Killip added that in his hometown of Sagada, Mountain Province, localized peace talks have been a long-accepted strategy for maintaining peace.
Finally, the RDC and RPOC agreed that benefits to the Kalinga side of the pump irrigation project must be increased as the water is sourced from the Cordillera region.
NEDA and the RDC sectoral committee on watershed and Environmental Management were tasked to draft a resolution urging NIA and DA to increase the benefits to the Kalinga side of the project.


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