PEACE OFFICIALS. Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (center), Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity, talks about the progress of localized peace talks during a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Friday (July 15, 2022). He is flanked by Assistant Solicitor General Angelita Miranda (left) and National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos after they attended the NTF-ELCAC executive committee meeting. (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA – The government’s peace negotiation with communist groups continues with the implementation of the localized peace engagement (LPE), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) said Friday.

Citing the timeline of peace talks initiated since the Corazon Aquino administration in 1986, OPAPRU chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said all previous negotiations amounted to nothing until the implementation of the LPE in communist-infiltrated areas.

Galvez said the “dynamics of conflicts” are different in each area.

"In 50 years of our negotiations with the communist, we’ve got nothing on that national peace talks,” he said in a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. “Ongoing pa rin po ang peace talks pero ang ginawa natin ni-localize lang natin (The peace talks are still ongoing but we localized it).”

Galvez said the LPE has become more effective "in taking back the trust and confidence of the communist rebels” to return to the fold of the law.

The LPE, he added, is anchored on the needs and interests at the grassroots level and other long-standing issues.

It also empowers the regional peace council, which consists of provincial and local government units (LGUs), to address domestic terrorism in their communities.

"They know very well what’s the best solution to the insurgency emerging within their areas,” he said.

Galvez credited the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for developing former conflict-affected areas and uplifting the lives of rebel returnees.

He said the NTF-ELCAC is “the best venue” to push the good governance integration and collaboration among various national agencies and LGUs. (PNA)