Bicol’s Task Force Peace Talk calls on Reds to end decades-old-conflict

NAGA CITY --- “Let’s put an end to the decades-old communist insurgency!” This was aired by Presidential Adviser for Bicol Affairs Marvel Clavecilla following President Duterte’s renewed push for the creation of a national task force that will work out a mechanism to help end the decades-old armed conflict between the government and communist insurgents.

The setting up of the task force is contained in President Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 which also calls for the institutionalization of the “whole-of-nation” approach so that an inclusive and sustainable peace in the country can be attained.

Clavecilla, who won the approval of the Regional Peace and Order Council and the Regional Development Council in Bicol to head the Task Force Peace Talk as Task Force Commander, said that Duterte is strongly serious about the creation of a national task force so that a well-organized mechanism will pave the way for the attainment of “inclusive and sustainable peace”.

The president, according to Clavecilla, finds it necessary also for the government to come up with the structure needed in the implementation of the so-called “whole-of-nation” approach as stated in the executive order.

“Whole-of-nation” approach means partnering with business, citizens, and other stakeholders to develop better solutions together.

As task force commander, Clavecilla calls on the National Democratic Front, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army to take into consideration the government’s shifting to the so-called “civilian-led approach” in ending the armed conflicts and threats between the two warring forces by way of localized peace talks.

In the Bicol Region, the local Task Force on Peace Talk is composed of the commanding general of the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, Regional Director of the Philippine National Police, the regional heads of the Department of Interior and Local Governments, National Economic and Development Authority, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, the Dept. of Public Works and Highways, Dept. of Budget and Management, Dept. of Agrarian Reform, Dept. of Social Welfare and Development and representatives from private sector.

In related development, CPP Founder Jose Maria Sison claimed that Duterte’s executive order No. 70 terminates and prevents the resumption of peace talks at the appropriate national level between authorized representatives of the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.