Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles emphasized the need for stakeholders to have a deeper understanding of the peace process so they will not be “easily swayed” amid issues, a press release from her office said.
Deles spoke during the Bishops-Businessmen's Conference for Human Development held recently at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in U.N. Avenue, Manila.
She was joined by Marvic Leonen, Government of the Philippines panel chair for talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and Jurgette Honculada, panel member for talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
Deles emphasized the need to have more advocates who will help in shedding light on issues concerning the peace process. “When issues arise, nobody answers to help clarify the situation. This process needs deeper understanding; it needs faithfulness so that when something happens people don't easily get swayed.”
“Anything that can be picked up by the news, such as that the peace adviser and the negotiators are amateurs and incompetent – these are easy for them to say because so few people understand,” Deles added.
“PAMANA puts projects in areas that are not easy to access, where there are no civil society groups,” Deles said. “An element of PAMANA is transparency where we sign up a partner who will monitor, watch the bidding – that and if we say we'll be building a school, it will work out as such.”
PAMANA is the government’s program and framework for peace and development in conflict areas, as well as those covered by existing peace agreements. It seeks to reduce poverty, improve governance and empower people through projects that enhance peace and socio-economic conditions.
Deles said it is hard to find partners in conflict areas who will be vigilant in ensuring that national government funds go to the right place.
Honculada, gave a short presentation on the history of the 42-year-old insurgency being waged by the CPP-NPA-NDFP, as well as developments in the peace process with the communist group.
Peace negotiations have been delayed following the CPP-NPA-NDFP’s demand to release their detained consultants.
Due to this setback, more communities, particularly those that are affected by conflict, are actively calling for a truce.
“This clamor for local ceasefire and local peace talks is growing,” Honculada said.*
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