Duterte approves new ‘inclusive’ peace roadmap

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has approved the new “inclusive roadmap to peace,” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said in a press conference, Tuesday.

“There will be inclusivity in Duterte’s roadmap to peace,” Dureza said.

He explained that the approved “inclusive roadmap” will go over the engagements with the Bangsamoro factions, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the closure of arguments with other rebel groups.

Included also are the concerns of the Lumad  and other indigenous people.

In a Cabinet meeting at Malacañang on Monday, Dureza presented the new roadmap to Duterte. After the meeting, the President officiated the oath-taking of the new members of the peace panel.

The new additions are former Congressman Hernani Braganza and lawyers Rene Sarmiento, Angela Librado-Trinidad and Noel Felongco.

Legislators on board

 Dureza also said that the attendance of incoming Senate President Aquilino Pimentel and incoming Speaker of the House of Representatives Pantaleon Alvarez during the meeting was important.

“We are putting the legislative branch on early notice and on board,” he said.

According to Dureza, the legislative branch will be an important component of the peace process because the implementation of an enabling law will have to come from the congress.

NDFP Talks

The formal resumption of the peace talks between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) is “firmly set” on August 20 to 27, Dureza said.

Both panels originally scheduled the resumption of the peace talks on the third week of July. The delay in the schedule is to give way for the temporary release of the detained NDFP peace consultants.

“If we succeed in releasing their resource persons, then we are expecting a bigger group to sit with us across the table,” Dureza said.

After years of failed and discontinued peace talks, he said that the delay is necessary to give way for better preparations of both panels.

“Napakahalaga [ng maayos na preparations] dahil we will not reinvent the peace process, marami na tayong nagawa dito,” Dureza said.

On Bangsamoro

Additionally, the new peace roadmap will put an all-Moro body to draft a new enabling law in place of the shelved Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“There will be inclusivity where all the Bangsamoro factions, groups will have to come under one roof so that there will be inclusivity in the implementation of all their agreements,” Dureza said.

According to him, the agreements will be done simultaneously as they install the federal system in the Philippines and added that the Bangsamoro can serve as the pilot federal state.

Despite the progress being “a little bit” slower, Dureza assured that the preparations will be done “as soon as possible” and that exposing a timeline will only tie people down. # (By Mikhaela Dimpas of the UP College of Mass Communications for Kodao Productions)