‘Not a transition but continuity’. Secretary Jesus Dureza formally takes over the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process from former peace adviser Teresita Quintos Deles. Dureza assures the public to continue the peace efforts of the previous administration and calls on all stakeholders to build on what has been accomplished in the past.
PASIG CITY—Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza emphasized to continue previous commitments, including the implementation of signed agreements from past administrations, in pursuing peace and development in the country.
“There will be a change of command but let me assure everyone that there will be no transition as they use to call it. We would like to use the word ‘continuity’,” Dureza said during the formal turnover ceremony of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to its new chief on Monday, July 4.
“We build on every brick on the ground. There is so much that has been done already.” Dureza added. “The message is continuity, and this is for the Filipino people. Enabling peace is a work for a lifetime. It is a continuous work.”
The ceremony was attended by former OPAPP Secretary Teresita “Ging” Quintos Deles, who was joined by previous agency officials. The incoming OPAPP executives were also present during the said event.
Deles turned over to Dureza and his team a terminal report detailing what the OPAPP has accomplished in the last six years with regard to the five peace tables—the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF); the Communist Party of the Philippines/News People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF); the Cordillera Bodong Administration–Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA); and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPM-P/RPA/ABB)—as well as the programs/projects handled by the agency, namely: Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA), National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (NAPWPS); and Conflict-Sensitive and Peace Promoting (CSPP) paradigm.
The new peace adviser also recapped parts of the inaugural speech of President Rodrigo Duterte that are significant to this administration’s peace policy.
In his speech, President Duterte underscored the continued implementation of all signed peace agreements in conformity with the constitutional and legal reforms.
At the same time, there must be an inclusive roadmap, which takes into account all stakeholders, particularly the indigenous peoples.
“These are our marching orders and we will work in that direction,” Dureza underscored.
The new peace adviser stressed the importance of development efforts relative to peace-building, as these will sustain peace on the ground.
“Hindi lang pwedeng piece of paper o peace agreements, it will not be sustainable. Dapat may katuwang na development. (It is not enough that we have signed peace agreements, it will not be sustainable. We must couple it with development.),” Dureza said.
“In other words, when you sign agreements, you must always make the people feel that there are dividends for peace because it is development that will sustain all these gains.”
Dureza called on all peace stakeholders to persevere on what they are doing so that the strides of peace will be “one step forward from where these are today”.
“We like to invite you to continue being with us. There are a few changes but, definitely, we will continue what the previous Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process has done because Secretary Ging Deles also built on the work of previous peace advisers,” Dureza concluded.