Task Force Davao backs peace talks

THE Task Force Davao (TFD) expressed its full support to the peace effort of the city government, adding that they will not serve warrants of arrest to the three New People's Army (NPA) commanders who were tapped by the Davao City Peace Panel to come here.

“It will be discussed by the mayor with the law enforcement agencies. Kung may warrant kasi, yong PNP (Philippine National Police mostly ang nag-iimplement ng warrant. Sa atin, we just support the PNP in implementing the warrant. But if we will be told to support the decision of the mayor, and PNP will desist,” Task Force Davao Deputy Commander Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang said on Wednesday, November 8, during the AFP-PNP press forum.

Cabangbang added that they’ve been very supportive with the local peace initiative of the city and vowed to help it realized.

“In fact, we’ve been helping in dissemination. We support everything that is pertaining to peace,” Cabangbang said.

However, when asked on the identities of the three commanders that the city is planning to tap, he said that he is not privy as TFD is more focused on downtown Davao. Perhaps, these commanders are those operating in Marilog and Paquibato Districts that are already beyond their jurisdiction.

He said that they have allowed it before during the burial of Rebelyn Maasin Pitao, the daughter of NPA leader Leoncio Pitao in 2009. The City Government under President Rodrigo Duterte let Pitao to come and attend her daughter’s funeral despite the standing warrant of arrest.

“Actually we did that before, whatever the mayor will advise the security forces, we will follow because it's part of the local peace talk that they are implementing,” he said.

He added, “Whatever is good for the peace talk we will [abide].”

Should the peace talk push through and if the government will order them to suspend the military operation, they will follow. With the coming Christmas season, he said that they will also implement offensive military operations to allow the rebels to celebrate as well.

“Parati naman nating ginagawa yan no nagkakaroon tayo ng suspension of military operation especially pag Pasko just to to let them feel the freedom that we are enjoying but of course pag may warrant (we will arrest) basta hindi magdala ng firearms,” he said.
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