Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will continue to reach out to the New People’s Army (NPA) despite the pronouncement of her father, President Duterte, that he might declare NPA as terrorists.
The lady mayor said in a media briefing on Monday, the city government will continue to offer a localized peace negotiation with the rebels since there is no official statement by the President declaring the communist rebels terrorists.
The mayor said she has constituted the Local Peace Committee (DC-PEACE) whose members are authorized to talk with the NPA, saying that these people (DC-PEACE members) are not known to be siding with any group –government or rebels.
Duterte-Carpio said that the committee has made its initial recommendations the recommendations during their last meeting on November 17.
She said the committee has recommended for a ceasefire between government troops and the rebel forces during the Christmas season.
The mayor said the DC-PEACE has requested her to talk with the high officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) about the matter. She said the PNP and AFP are not represented in the DC-PEACE.
“I told them, I’ll think about it,”she said, adding that a ceasefire is very possible during Christmas because it is a season of peace and of giving and forgiving.”
Mayor Carpio said there will be no problem for her to ask AFP and PNP to declare a suspension of military operations (SOMO) as long there will be sincerity on the part of the rebels to talk with the government.
“Makita lang namo nga naa gyud sila’y effort makig-istorya about sa kalinaw sa atoang siyudad (As long as we see that they are willing to talk peace for our city),” she said.
The mayor also said the peace committee will go the area of NPA in the city, which she did not divulge, between December 7 and 9, to talk with the rebels.
However, she said that only the members will go there because the dialogue might be disrupted if she will go with the committee. She did not elaborate.