Lawmaker: Localized peace talks first before martial law

ABANG Lingkod Party-list Representative Stephen Paduano offered a localized peace talks between the government and New People's Army rebels before deciding on declaring martial law in Negros Oriental.

The martial law declaration is looming amid the series of killings in Negros Oriental.

President Rodrigo Duterte said he might be forced to take "drastic actions" amid the series of killings in Negros Oriental.

"I'm appealing to my fellow Negrenses, especially the rebels that we should talk peace. If we cannot talk peace nationwide because of your leaders who have been based in Netherlands, we will talk locally," said Paduano, a former commander of Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Lex Bongcayao Brigade (RPA-ABB).

He said the people in the hinterlands are always those who are caught in between, that is why it is very important to talk peace.

Paduano also revealed that most of the congressmen in Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental have already signed a resolution introduced by Negros Oriental First District Representative Jocelyn Limkaichong, calling for an investigation on the killings in Negros Oriental.

He said they are also trying to ask the congressmen in Cebu to also support the said resolution.

Paduano said he will back whatever will be the decision of the majority of the Negros congressmen on the proposal to declare martial law in Negros Oriental.

He also believes that Negros Occidental will also be included in case martial law is declared in Negros Oriental because "we belong to one island divided only by boundaries."


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