News Release

Different agencies welcome PBBM admin’s peace initiative with NDF, back ending decades-long insurgency

Different government agencies expressed support on Tuesday for the Joint Communique agreed upon by the Marcos administration and the National Democratic Front (NDF) aimed at ending the decades-long communist armed conflict in the country.

In announcing the Oslo Joint Communique, Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said that it is a significant milestone in the Filipino people’s quest to achieve peace, reconciliation, and unity.

With the joint communiqué and the issuance of the joint statement, Galvez said that there will be some sort of collective positions between parties that they are very firm and committed to have a final discussions on the final peace agreement.

For his part, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said that although the joint communiqué still has no immediate effect on the ground, an eventual peace pact with the rebels will eliminate the basis for them to wage armed struggle in the country.

“Gusto ko lang maidagdag siguro na kapag itong usapin na ito ay magbunga sa isang kasunduan, mawawala ang final ostensible political basis na mang-wage ang grupo na nag-i- espouse ng CPP-NPA-NDF line for any armed struggle. That will be erased, the political basis for it. So it is important,” Teodoro said.

For the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said that the joint communiqué is very good news for the military “because it is the soldier, more than anybody else, who wants lasting peace.”

“Kasi nga po para sa amin, parang naging personal na itong laban na ito. Marami sa aming kasamahan ang namatay dahil dito sa insurgency na ito. Marami sa aming kamag-anak, pinsan ko mismo, namatay sa kamay ng New People’s Army,” Brawner said.

“So, this is really a personal victory for us, and aside from that, if this conflict will finally end, your Armed Forces of the Philippines will be able to shift our focus on external or territorial defense. So, iyong amin pong resources, efforts, will be poured into defending our territory,” stated Brawner.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda also welcomed the recent communiqué between the government and the NDF, hoping this will lead to an actual peace agreement.

“This is a very welcome development, I hope this will lead really to a long and lasting peace and I look at it as way of adding more food to the table, sa mga Pilipino, and instead of spending more money for the above, ammunition and other armaments, madadagdagan po iyong ating mga makinarya at saka mga istraktura that will help us attain maximum development,” Acorda said.

“That’s how I look at it, and it’s a very welcome development po,” he said.

For his part, National Security Adviser Eduardo Año said he believes it is time to put closure to five decades of armed communist rebellion in the country.

Año expressed hope that the exploratory discussion would lead to a final peace accord that will end the conflict considering that, based on world’s history, all wars ended in negotiations and settlements.

“And I think, it’s about time to have closure, closure that is acceptable to everybody, to the Filipino people. Particularly, ending the armed struggle so with this, I think, this is a very, very good opportunity to be able to give—but amnesty is actually in tandem with is particular agreement,” Año said.

“And maybe this is the final agreement that we can come to and matapos na rin iyong armed struggle,” he stated.

At the local level, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjmain Abalos Jr. said local government units (LGUs) will feel the net effect of a peace agreement because the impact is in the grassroots.

“Ramdam ng local government units especially those affected by insurgency. What is important will be this transition period na kung saan, of course, sabi nga ng ating mahal na Pangulo, it’s a whole-of-government approach kaya nandirito kami lahat ngayon,” Abalos said.

“Peace and order is always key to every economic development. So, diyan na papasok lahat, magtutulungan lahat ang ahensiya towards this goal. Of course, nandiyan sa grassroots ang local government units,” he added.

Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian also voiced support for the renewed exploratory talks between the government and the insurgents.

“Sa amin sa DSWD, ang lente na tinitingnan namin ay kahirapan at kagutuman. So, kami ang primary goal namin is maiahon ang bawat Pilipino mula sa kahirapan at kagutuman. So, iyon ang aming mandato dito for every single Filipino,” Gatchalian said.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) also welcomed the recent communiqué.

“Sa NEDA naman, as we all know, instability particularly political and this case itong instability, war is very, very costly to the economy and so efforts to achieve peace particularly in the countryside is surely inclusive and growth-inducing,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said during the briefing

“So, napaka-important sa atin iyong peace efforts sa ganito,” he said. PND