BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that he will issue an executive order creating a provincial peace panel for localized peace engagements in Negros Occidental.
The creation of the multi-sectoral group peace panel, that will include the Church and the academe, will be guided by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, on how to proceed with the peace negotiations.
This is one of the targets of the present administration to end the local armed communist conflict, Lacson said.
The Local Peace Engagement mechanism is pursuant to Executive Order 70, that is nationally orchestrated, directed and supervised, but locally implemented, with the objective of achieving community resiliency and cultural harmony, contribute towards good governance, and address insurgency issues, the Department of Interior and Local Government said.
The Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Mangagawa-Pilipinas – Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade peace process has been cited by the DILG as an LPE model in the pursuit of peace talks with the remaining communist rebels in Negros Island.
Under the proposed peace panel composition, the governor of Negros Occidental will serve as chairperson, co-chaired by the commanding officer of the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade.
The Local Peace Panel, that will be cascaded to the city and municipal level, will set up exploratory dialogs, coordinate with the Regional Task Force–Ending Local Armed Communist Conflict regarding common talking points for rebels and the government, draft ground rules for holding peace talks, formulate agenda, draft, and hold local peace agreements, the DILG said.
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday that the creation of the peace panel for local peace engagements is an approach to give a chance for communist rebels to air their frustrations against the government, and find solutions.
Pasaporte said they are aware that the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor is having problems and was demoralized by the many setbacks they suffered due to sustained government military operations, and dismantling of their political structures, aside from the surrender of their members and supporters.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command in the Visayas earlier announced the dismantling of the KR-NCBS Northern Negros Front and its South East Front in Negros Island.
Pasaporte said they will also dismantle the Central Negros Front that recently suffered a debacle, following the killing of 10 of its Red fighters, and the dismantling of its political organizations in the hinterland areas. They are now in disarray and demoralized, he claimed.*