DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said that New People's Army members can be employed by the city even without surrendering.
Duterte-Carpio, during a press conference, said she has received text messages from NPAs expressing their intention to surrender after the creation of Davao City Peace Committee, but she said that she does not necessarily need for them to surrender but only to cooperate with the committee.
"Ang akong plano is not for them to surrender, it's for them to work with us, depende sa committee. Para sa akoa dili man siguro kailangan i-surrender ang mga baril, we can find work for them, nga naa gihapon ang ilang baril kung mao na ang ilang gusto. We are very flexible, tinuod man, pwede ka mag-forest guard. We are very flexible just to attain that elusive dream of peace (What I want is not for them to surrender, it's for them to work with us, it depends on the committee, but for me the surrender of arms is not needed, we can find work for them even if they have their guns if that's what they want. We are very flexible, it is true, they can be forest guards. We are very flexible just to attain that elusive dream of peace)," she added.
DC-PEACE, with a mandate to serve as negotiating arm of the city government of Davao in all matters involving peace promotion within its jurisdiction, was formed through an executive order signed by the mayor last September 12.
It is tasked to formulate, and/or review all terms, provisions, and political solutions or settlements that may be proposed by the participating parties at the negotiating table.
Duterte-Carpio said that the members of the team include Retired Judge Richway M. Tanjili as head with Davao City Social Services and Development Office head Maria Luisa Bermudo, City Legal Office Atty. Elisa Lapina, Punong Barangay Jessielito Areja of Barangay Malabog, Paquibato District, and Archbishop Romulo Valles of the Catholic Church as members.
She said they are set to send appointment papers for the committee chair, adding that she has already talked with the possible consultant but it has yet to be confirmed.
She hinted that the consultant has worked for peace initiatives for a long time.
The mayor said that the committee will start working on October 1 until November 30 next year if there is no positive development that comes out from it.
"There is no point na padugayon nato, there is more than one year nga pwede sila mag-istorya (There is no point in prolonging it, they have more than one year to talk)," she said.
She added that those who want to surrender have been listed and were advised to go to the committee first.
Duterte-Carpio said that there is strictly no military component in the DC-Peace.
"In fact I told the military not to join in the talks, anyway if it relates to amnesty, charges filed, in that kind of level, it can be discussed before the committee level before they can be engaged.
Definitely there will be no military component in the DC Peace," she added.
She said that the committee will also discuss the situation of those who have criminal cases.
"Those who have criminal case, it will be taken up by the committee, because it has legal implications... as I said we will try to deliver our best to deliver what we can to attain peace," she said.