PRESIDENTIAL peace adviser Jesus Dureza has urged the leaders from different indigenous peoples (IP) groups in the country to come up with an advisory council, which will aid the peace process with different rebel groups in tackling various IP concerns.

“You understand your situations the best; therefore, you are also the ones who can suggest the best solutions. But for this to happen, you also need to come together as one,” Dureza said in a recent IP peace table conversation in Midsayap, North Cotabato.

The advisory council will provide voices and assure key roles for the so-called “national minorities” in the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front and the implementation of Bangsamoro agreements with the Moro fronts.

Earlier, Dureza underscored that creation of an IP advisory council is a guarantee for a more inclusive and transparent peace process under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We cannot solve your problems for you because we do not know what your problems are. That is why there is a need for you to sit down and discuss them and the possible solutions,” he said.

“We cannot promise to deliver all the needs you have mentioned, but what we can promise is that we will present your concerns during the negotiations,” he stressed.

Dureza also reminded the leaders that they can start working on their concerns even prior to a final peace agreement.

Dureza also assured the indigenous groups of their representative in the new and expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), which will draft the enabling law for the implementation of all Bangsamoro peace deals and other pertinent measures including the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. (SDR/Sunnex)