Sara: NPA terrorist label must be changed before talks

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said that the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist tag must be removed first before the city can make any action on the peace talks that President Rodrigo Duterte plans to resume.

"As of the moment I did not know of any resumption of talks, but there is an existing executive order [which states that] they are labeled and considered as (a) terrorist group, so if it is still effective it has to be removed for a change of approach," she said.

It can be recalled that the city mayor signed an executive order creating the Davao City Peace to spearhead the localized peace talks. However, it was renamed later to DC-Peace Dev’t as its function was shifted to development work, to talk with the residents instead of the rebel groups after the president issued declaration that the NPAs are to be tagged as terrorists.

On Thursday, the city mayor confirmed that the DC-Peace Dev't was changed into a task force named as "Peace 911", tasked to implement projects identified particularly in Paquibato area.

She said that the DC-Peace Dev't conducted consultations with the communities, and has identified projects for the area.

"The committee's name was changed into Peace 911 which will be the implementing task force of projects in the Paquibato Area. These projects are still set to be launched in the area," she said.

She said that another executive order is not needed to change the name of DC-Peace as they will just amend the previous executive order highlighting that they will just add the term "implementing task force" for the committee to oversee the needed projects.

Duterte-Carpio added that the Peace 911 will continue whatever the status of the talks.

"The Peace 911, because they are directed for peace and development projects, there are already plans for the Paquibato area. So hopefully, the claims they say as the reason why they join the rebel group will be addressed with the list of projects identified by the community in their community consultation," she said.
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