New OPAPP chief vows to intensify peace efforts
Manila (12 October) -- Newly-installed Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Nabil A. Tan today vowed to intensify the government's peace efforts by trying to put a closure to the ongoing peace talks with Muslim and communist rebels during the remaining eight months of the Arroyo administration.
"All these efforts, of course, should be done in the context of people-centered peace process work, of sharing responsibilities, of hard work, and of synergy of work among the various offices and units," Tan said upon assuming his new post as officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
Tan replaced outgoing OPAPP Secretary Avelino I. Razon Jr., who tendered his resignation effective today to give him time to prepare to run for mayor in Manila in May next year.
"If we can put a closure to it (peace process) before the next administration commences, so much the better," Tan said, adding that "we need to continue to improve the capacities of our peace works and colleagues and to respond appropriately the needs of the times and be proactive in sharing responsibilities of hard work and of synergy of work among the various offices and units."
As the first Muslim to head OPAPP, Tan said it is barely nine months before the new administration will take the reins of the bureaucracy, but despite the shortness of time "we can still attain substantial gains to move the peace process forward in the quest of the attainment of the ten-point agenda of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo."
Tan posed the question, "what do we hope to achieve in this limited period?"
Answering his own query, he said: "We have to be ready with the transition report for the next President…a document of the lessons learnt of the peace process under the present dispensation" by spelling out "the proposed directions of the peace process in the next six years."
"We also need to continue the process of crafting or updating the National Peace Plan called NPP in the next Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan," he added.
According to the new peace czar, there is likewise a need to strengthen cooperation and partnerships between civil society organizations, the academe, the religious groups and most especially, local government units.
"We have sown the seed of partnership that blossomed into higher levels of cooperation.
Tan explained that the peace process is anchored on the principles of participation, consistency, accountability, and partnership.
He asked OPAPP personnel as well as all peace stakeholders to help him push the peace process, stressing on the need "to unite, to cooperate, to work in harmony and side by side to bring our organization, OPAPP to a dynamo of efficiency, excellence, productivity, harmony and moral transcendence." (PIA-Samar with bencal OPAPP) [top]