MANILA—Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said Tuesday she was happy that the ray of hope for opening the “doors” for resumptions of peace talks between the government and communist rebels will not reach a dead end.
“May na-issue nang statement si Secretary Jess Dureza ngayong hapon, na nilinaw niya sisikaping mangyari na umabante ang usapin sa pangkapayapaan sa MILF, MNLF at sa iba pa para maka-focus tayo sa pagpapaunlad ng eekonomiya (There was an issued statement this afternoon from Sec. Jess Dureza wherein he clarified that they will try their best to push forward the peace talks so we can focus on the enhancement of the economic situations (in the country),” said Taguiwalo.
Though, Taguiwalo admitted that she was not in the position to announce the resumption of peace talks, she was counting on the basis now that the doors for it were not fully shut.
“Ang mahalaga ay hindi sarado at naipaabot natin at naipakita natin dito that we are willing to continue with the negotiation table at dun naman nag agree si President na mag-usap,” (what is important is that door is not close and we had expressed our willingness to continue the negotiation wherein President Duterte also agreed),” she said.
In terms of how that can push forward, she said that she was leaving them to the members of the panel since she was not a member of the negotiating panel.
She further said that from the very start she remained confident on the sincerity and willingness on the part of President Rodrigo Duterte to achieve a lasting peace in the country in his term of office.
She added that in her continuous hope that peace could still be achievable, she still gave the President her full support even if she and some other cabinet came from the left-leaning ideology as they recognized the fact that there was a need to work together to address the long and pressing issues of poverty, corruption and other important issues related to it on the basis that it would be through justifiable means and acceptable to all.
She further said that while there was no exact statements yet made in terms of removal of the declaration of “all out war” among rebels, what mattered to them at present was as far as what the negotiations had gone through such as those conducted in Rome and those agreed upon Comprehensive and Socio Economic Reforms (CASER) wherein land reforms were discussed including distribution.