DILG, PNP back localized peace talks with communist rebels

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2019 07:25 PM

Members of the New People's Army surrender their firearms to the commander of the 901st Brigade and 91st Division of the Philippine Army in Barangay Villahermosa Dared, Albay on Friday. The rebels turned over 3 M-16 rifles, 1 shotgun, 1 M-79 grenade launcher and some documents. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday expressed support for government's move to pursue localized peace talks with communist rebels.

This, following the termination of the government peace panel negotiating with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. It was formally dissolved months after the collapse of negotiations over continued rebel attacks on state troops.

According to PNP Spokesperson Police Col. Bernard Banac, the move goes well with their mandate.

"We are into community policing and we believe that local problems are best resolved locally. We don't have to involve the national government when you talk about peace and order in our locality. So we fully support the localized peace talks," Banac said in an interview on ANC's Headstart.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said last week that a new panel composed of representatives from different sectoral groups, local government units, and the military will supervise localized peace engagements.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the communist group's high-ranking officials have long been irrelevant being far from the realities of local insurgents.

Meanwhile, Banac said the communist movement's armed wing, the New People's Army, is dwindling in numbers. Its members today number about 3,000, from a high of 8,000 in the past two decades.