National Perspective on Peace Process and National Security


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Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles, OPAPP
National Perspective on Peace Process and National Security

(Delivered at a Public Forum on Mar 3)

Published in: News & Politics, Business
  • Fina closure on any peace pact signed by the govt with armed groups must first and foremost, starts with the full (100%) implementation of the first stage-the confidence-building aspect, second level, discussion and implementation of policy reforms that would help address the root causes of armed conflict and last, process the concept of dispossession of arms and forces. The later will be the by-product of the first and second aspects. As often time said, peace is not just the silence of gun fire neither the capitulation of one party to the other but addressing the material basis or root causes of rebellion in the Philippines. This what makes peace a lasting one.
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    The peace process undertaken by the government of the Republic of the Philippines with the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas (RPMP)/Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) was grossly violated by the past GMA administration and the current regime of Pres. Noynoy Aquino is doing nothing to rectify government breaches, in fact, it is currently stalled under Pres. Noynoy Aquino administration.

    By the time Sec. Ging Deles returned to OPAPP as peace adviser on June 2010 until this juncture, no significant action has been done to implement and push forward the peace agreement signed between the government and the breakaway group (RPA-ABB). Much worst, Sec. Ging Deles has illegally abolished the Joint Enforcement and Monitoring Committee (JEMC) and all its mechanisms and structures despite that the later was a creation of an Executive Order No. 117 put into law by the past administration (GMA) and is still in effect until this time unless otherwise revoke by the new President of the Philippines. It is to be recalled that any Executive Order of the President is considered part and parcel of the law of the country (it is tantamount to the laws passed by Senate and Congress) and to amend, repeal and revoke such Executive Order requires new issuance by the new President but this authority and power vested upon President Noynoy Aquino was usurped by Sec. Deles when she made a pronouncement to abolish the JEMC and this illegal action further put the image of President Noynoy Aqunio and his administration into public disgrace and causing more harm to the peace process and its beneficiaries like the political prisoners and peace areas and other stakeholders. Is President Noynoy Aquino aware of this illegal moved and usurpation done by his peace adviser ? This action made by Sec. Deles put the image of peace program of the Aquino administration into bad faith not only in the Philippines but internationally and will also cause alarm to other revolutionary armed groups not anymore to engage into peace negotiations with the current regime.

    To enlighten Secretary Ging Deles, a presidential directive has the same substantive legal effect as an executive order. It is the substance of the presidential action that is determinative, not the form of the document conveying that action. Both an executive order and a presidential directive remain effective upon a change in administration, unless otherwise specified in the document, and both continue to be effective until subsequent presidential action is taken.

    There is no any substantive legal difference between an executive order and a presidential directive. There is no substantive difference in the legal effectiveness of an executive order and a presidential directive that is not styled as an executive order. A presidential directive would not automatically lapse upon a change of administration; as with an executive order, unless otherwise specified, a presidential directive would remain effective until subsequent presidential action is taken. There is no basis for drawing a distinction as to the legal effectiveness of a presidential action based on the form or caption of the written document through which that action is conveyed. A Presidential directive having the force and effect of law,” notwithstanding its informality of form. It has been consistently viewed that it is the substance of a presidential determination or directive that is controlling and not whether the document is styled in a particular manner. This principle plainly extends to the legal effectiveness of a document styled as a “presidential directive.” Moreover, as with an executive order, a presidential directive would not lose its legal effectiveness upon a change of administration. Rather, because a presidential directive issues from the Office of the Chief Executive, it would remain in force, unless otherwise specified, pending any future presidential action. Now, in so far as the peace talks between the government and the RPM-P/RPA-ABB, the Pnoy administration since assumption to office did not pass any law or executive order revoking the Executive Order No.117 and therefore, commonsense tells that such executive order still holds water and must be in effect and non-implementation of such means violation (breach by omission) of the peace agreement and this major breach can send many alarming signals to many interest groups and to ordinary citizens.

    The conclusion of matter is, the peace process of the government with the RPM-P/RPA-ABB is not moving forward, same thing what had happened during GMA administration where Sec. Deles was also her peace adviser.

    All of the beautiful pronouncements and discourses (pa pogi poise) made by Sec. Deles in media, internet and peace forums relative to the “closure of peace talks particularly with the RPM-P/RPA-ABB” are all blatant lies! How can there a closure when in fact, it is not gaining grounds and its confidence-building aspect (like release of all political prisoners and alleged political offenders, dropping of charges against RPA-ABB officers and members, impact development projects and the release of integration fund) are grossly violated, and much more, substantial aspect like policy reform agenda that will address root causes of armed conflict has never been discussed at any formal or informal talks between the government and the RPM-P/RPA-ABB.

    If the current administration of Pnoy is sincere of pursuing peace along the line of “ang matuwid na daan” then he should correct Sec. Ging Deles, if the good Chief Executive don’t want to remove her from office. The truth of the matters is, Secretary Deles is by ideology and by heart is an anti-left, one of the many reasons why she is not in the right position to take the banner of peace in the Philippines and mark my word, she will accomplished nothing significantly and substantially during her term as peace adviser.

    Is the the present administration still accountable to all legal agreements and commitments done by the past administrations? Yes of course, unless otherwise revoke by the new government. This means, Sec. Ging Deles and Pnoy cannot evade if the beneficiaries, the stakeholders and the RPM-P/RPA-ABB will demand delivery of commitments under the 2000 GRP and RPM-P/RPA-ABB Peace pact simply because all legal actions undertaken by the former administration(s) are in the name of the Republic of the Philippines and whoever is now in power is obligated by law and by moral ground to fulfill government’s commitment unless otherwise there is a formal revocation of such agreements.
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  • The government in 2000 has already signed a peace agreement w/ the RPM-P/RPA-ABB and therefore, morally and legally, the gov't is bound by law to comply their commitments but it is unfortunate that since the time of GMA where Sec. Deles served as JEMC chair and OPAPP Secretary, the peace agreement was grossly violated with very slow implementation and now, under the Noynoy administration where Sec Deles is again taking the role as peace adviser turned the clock into worst because Sec. Deles has abolished illegally the JEMC despite this is beyond her authority, put herself above the peace agreement as the final boss w/o bilateral agreements between the two parties, made a back door meetings with some arm-chair leaders and to be specific, not one in any aspect of their peace pact is moving forward. Her pronouncement that there was already a reached agreement on the final closure is but making the peace process a media hype, a clown entertainment, and a stage play. She probably is negotiating with Veronica Tabara, Stephen Paduano, Nilo dela Cruz and Gina dela Cruz as with her puppet faction. Puppeteering is 'convenient' for the stage-play but her dealing with the wrong persons, fake negotiation, and reneging won't work for peace at all. These persons are not actually in control of the RPM-P/RPA-ABB and maybe has lost their credibility as revolutionaries after they ceded the revolution for a price?
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  • Thank you for your comment Hanz. Yes I heard it from the Secretary herself that the RPMP-RPA-ABB is on implementation and would not necessitate another separate negotiating table. What I am concerned with is, if this based on previous negotiations, and had the approval of the group/communities. If there is no closure then what must be done? Won't talking to another separate table, with NDF and MILF talks on-going, spreading things too thinly? I'd love to know more about the RPMP-ABB's position on talks and implementation.
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  • The pronouncement of Sec. Deles that the peace agreement with the RPM-P/RPA-ABB is now on the stage of closure is a blatant lie! There was and there is no such agreement reached on closure plan because the first requisite w/c is the confidence-building aspect which serves as the first step toward substantial talks was and is grossly violated. In fact, under the leadership of Sec. Deles as peace adviser of Pnoy administration shows nothing different as compared w/ the past GMA administration because such peace agreement was and is not moving anything in terms of implementation. Therefore, the statement of Sec. Deles that there was already an agreement reached on final closure was and is a big lie!
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National Perspective on Peace Process and National Security

  1. 1. National Perspective on Peace Process and National Security<br />A Presentation by<br />Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles<br />Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process<br />
  2. 2. Two-Part Presentation<br />Winning the Peace<br />Ensuring National Security<br />
  3. 3. Presentation Outline<br />Policy Framework and Substantive Directions<br />Updates<br />Issues and Challenges<br />
  4. 4. The administration will have to pick up the pieces and resume the quest for peace with vigor and clarity of purpose. Our quest must not only focus on ensuring the stability of the state and the security of our nation. Our ultimate goal must be the safety and well being of our people.<br />We must revive the peace process on the basis of a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of the conflict, under clear policies that pave and clear the way ahead, and driven by a genuine desire to attain a just and lasting peace.<br />
  5. 5. We shall endeavour to restore confidence in a peace process that is transparent and participatory, and renew our faith in our shared vision of a peaceful, secure and prosperous future under one sovereign flag.<br />- President Benigno S. Aquino III<br />
  6. 6. WINNING THE PEACE<br />Promotion of the peace process shall be the centerpiece of the internal security program as a testament to a government’s commitment to a policy of peace, reconciliation, and reunification. Peace is not just the absence of war or conflict, but it is the sum total of the conditions that ensure human and social well-being in all dimensions. This entails the winning of hearts and minds of the aggrieved and the afflicted while retaining the allegiance of the rest.<br />
  7. 7. GOALS<br />While the government’s aim is to win the peace, the goal for the medium term is to bring all armed conflict to a permanent and peaceful closure.<br />
  8. 8. OBJECTIVES<br />Negotiated political settlement of armed conflicts; and<br />Causes of armed conflict and other issues that affect the peace process effectively addressed<br />
  9. 9. SPECIFIC STRATEGIES<br />Track 1: Negotiated political settlement of all armed conflicts<br />Track 2: Complementary tracks<br />
  10. 10. Track 1: Negotiated political settlement of all armed conflicts<br />Resume and complete negotiations with MILF and CPP/NPA/NDF<br />Complete implementation of signed final peace agreements with the MNLF and CPLA<br />Closure of the peace tracks with RPMP/RPA/ABB<br />
  11. 11. Track 1: Negotiated political settlement of all armed conflicts<br />Final DDR of the abovementioned armed groups through effective and appropriate intervention programs<br />Establishment of mechanisms towards a participatory and accountable peace process<br />
  12. 12. Track 2: Complementary Track<br />Focused development in conflict-affected areas through PAMANA<br />Settlement of long standing disputes over land and resources<br />IP Agenda<br />Affirmative action agenda for Muslims<br />Enhancement of ARMM governance<br />Implementation of UNSC 1325 compliance<br />
  13. 13. Track 2: Complementary Track<br />Children in situations of armed conflict<br />End impunity and extra-judicial killings<br />Security sector reform<br />
  14. 14. Updates: Track One<br />Negotiations with MILF <br />20th formal exploratory meeting of the parties resumed 13 January 2011, since the impasse in 2008<br />Panel: Dean MarvicLeonen (Chair), Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, former Secretary SenenBacani, Vice Mayor Ramon Piang<br />
  15. 15. Updates: Track One<br />Negotiations wiith CPP/NPA/NDF<br />Formal negotiations resumed in Oslo from 15 to 21 February 2011, since the impasse in 2006<br />Panel: Alex Padilla (Chair), EdnarDayanghirang, JurgetteHonculada, PablitoSanidad, Ma. Lourdes Tison<br />
  16. 16. Updates: Track One<br />Completion of signed implementation with MNLF<br />4th Session of the Tripartite Meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 22-23 February 2011 leading to the agreement to move BDAF forward and to initiate the agreed mechanisms and processes for resolving three remaining issues with no common ground <br />
  17. 17. Updates: Track One<br />Completion of signed implementation with CPLA and RPMP-RPA-ABB<br />Reached agreements on principles with details on final closure plan which includes development intervention and the disposition of arms and forces<br />
  18. 18. Updates: Track Two<br />PAMANA: 2011 road mapping covering 7 conflict areas and institutional arrangements being finalized; launching on the ground by March-April<br />IP Agenda: full IPRA implementation, starting with reconstitution of leadership/reorganization to be completed by March<br />Affirmative action agenda for Muslims: resolution of NCMF leadership issue, initial focus on Hajj management reform<br />Enhancement of ARMM governance: prosecution of Ampatuan massacre case; DILG measures which include: (a) team up with COA for special audit of ARMM, (b) enforcement of LGU’s full disclosure of budget and finances through website postings/print media, media, (c) enforcement of disciplinary actions on absentee local officials; postponement of elections <br />
  19. 19. Updates: Track Two<br />Implementation of UNSC 1325 compliance: strategic implementation of the National Action Plan (joined with Magna Carta on Women)<br />Children in situations of armed conflict: setting up of desk in AFP HR office; preparation for the visit of SRSG toward removal of Philippines from the black list<br />End impunity and extra-judicial killings: adoption/implementation of HR-based AFP intelligence handbook; DOJ case file on EJE<br />
  20. 20. Some Issues and Challenges<br />Timeframe: to reach agreements by midterm so that the remaining term can be devoted for implementation; to not turnover unfinished businesses to the next administration<br />Accelerating processes while avoiding short-cuts: reach common understanding in less ambiguous terms; finally ask the hard questions; insulating substantive agenda<br />Balancing transparency and confidentiality<br />
  21. 21. Some Issues and Challenges<br />Splinters and internal contestation<br />Mechanisms for “sufficient consensus”: How participatory is participatory? What is the operational meaning of ‘consensus’?<br />DDR: lawless elements and loose weapons<br />Accelerating post-conflict development<br />Citizens-based mechanisms for monitoring / constant accompaniment of unfolding processes<br />
  22. 22. Ensuring National Security<br />P.Noyclearly defined national security as not only focused on ensuring stability of the state and the security of our nation but more importantly on the ultimate goal of ensuring the safety and well-being of our people.<br />
  23. 23. Policy Framework & Substantial Directions<br />Apart from the peace process, the government shall create and sustain an enabling environment conducive to development. This will be done involving whole government, institutions, and the entire citizenry to address national integrity, public order and safety, and governance reforms. It is hoped that these mutually-enforcing strategies shall secure internal and external peace that will contribute to development efforts of the government and ensure that Filipinos will be able to take part in the process of economic growth and development.<br />
  24. 24. Four Pillars of National Security Policy<br />Good governance <br />Delivery of basic services<br />Economic reconstruction and sustainable development of Mindanao<br />Security sector reform<br />
  25. 25. GOAL<br />The government shall ensure that the Filipino national community’s welfare, way of life, institutions, territorial integrity and sovereignty are protected.<br />
  26. 26. OBJECTIVES<br />Internal stability promoted and sustained.<br />Full sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state protected.<br />Security sector reform carried out.<br />
  27. 27. Strategies to Achieve Internal Stability<br />Reduce capabilities of armed groups not within negotiated political settlement processes<br />Continued and intensified police operations to address criminality<br />
  28. 28. Strategies to Protect National Sovereignty<br />Sustain and cultivate international relations and external security<br />Enhance capability to respond to either manmade or natural non-traditional security concerns<br />
  29. 29. Strategies to Carry Out Security Sector Reform<br />Pursue reforms in the security sector through<br /><ul><li>Strengthening civilian control and oversight of the security sector
  30. 30. Professionalizing security forces
  31. 31. Strengthening internal security systems
  32. 32. Strengthening the rule of law throughout the country</li></li></ul><li>Strategies to Carry Out Security Sector Reform<br />Professionalization of security forces through adherence on the principle of Democratic Control of the AFP and the PNP<br />
  33. 33. UPDATES<br />Appointments by P.Noy underscore a commitment to SSR and Human Rights<br />Cabinet security cluster now chaired by DILG<br />DOJ Secretary formerly the Chair of CHR <br />The current Chair of CHR is Etta Rosales<br />Panel Chairs are both HR lawyers<br />
  34. 34. UPDATES<br />AFP has a peace office designated to constantly communicate and coordinate with OPAPP<br />AFP includes desk to focus on issues on children in armed conflicts<br />Government panels go on the ground to dialogue with our troops, and vice versa<br />
  35. 35. SOME ISSUES AND CHALLENGES<br />Investigation into corruption (pabaon system)involving the highest officials of the AFP<br />Disentangling law enforcement and peace process; family ties and law enforcement <br />Reality of terrorism<br />Civilian/democratic oversight<br />Impact of peacekeeping capacity in AFP<br />Winning the hearts of ordinary soldiers<br />
  36. 36. CONCLUSION<br />The prospect for peace has never been this good. It is better than it has ever been. There is hope because of the political climate and the and new political leadership. <br />But peace process still littered with land mines.<br />Let’s not waste the moment.<br />All hands on deck! <br />