Mayor backs localized peace talks

BAGUIO CITY March 27 – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan expressed his all-out support to the conduct of localized peace talks between government negotiators and their counterparts from the Communist Party of the Philippines – New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA) for the realization of lasting peace in the countryside.

The local chief executive said that local peace panels should be organized by concerned local governments for the pursuit of the conduct of localized peace talks with their counterparts to help the overall efforts of the government to achieve lasting peace that will trigger growth and development in the remote communities of the country.

Earlier, President Rodrigo R. Duterte dissolved the government peace panel headed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III considering the alleged failure of the peace negotiations between the government and the communist rebels that had been suspended several times in the past.

"We have to explore all available means on how to pursue the failed peace talks with the communist rebels so that we will be able to extend the needed assistance to the national government for the realization of law and order in te different parts of the country. We will not totally close our doors to available options so that we will be able to strike whatever feasible agreements that could be reached for the benefit of peace and order," Domogan stressed.

He agreed with the contention of the President in virtually cancelling the peace talks between the government peace panel and their counterparts because of the alleged lack of sincerity on the part of the CPP-NPA as they continue to attack government forces even at the height of the peace negotiations that have been conducted overseas in the past.

According to him, there must be available confidence building measures that should be done to avoid the occurrence of further hostilities between government forces and the communist rebels so that there will be a level of trust and confidence that could be achieved before the resumption of the peace talks between the concerned parties.

Domogan underscored that peace and order is one of the key factors in perking up the economic growth and development of a certain locality, region and even the country as a whole that is why all available avenues on how to achieve lasting peace are being explored by the government for the benefit of people living in the rural areas of the archipelago.

He claimed the people of Baguio are lucky because there are no emerging threats to the city's peace and order situation except for the occurrence of crimes from time to time but it should not serve as a basis for law enforcers and other concerned authorities to be complacent about the situation because they might be caught off guard in the future.

Aside from the absence of potential threats to the city's decent peace and order situation, he claimed that people in the barangays should remain vigilant for possible people who intend to disrupt the gains of peace and order, thus, they must report to the nearest authorities the presence of suspicious-looking individuals for the conduct of the needed and surveillance operations against them to ascertain whether they are in the city to study, work, live and do business instead of creating trouble in the future.

By Dexter A. See

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