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OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER FOR PEACE PROCESS (OPAPP): A BRIEFER

Contribution from: Randel Hidalgo Latoza Group 2: MNSA RC 48 Guide Questions: 1. What is the rationale for the creation of the agency? (Legal Background, Brief History/Evolution) 2. What are the key functions of the agency? 3. What is the agencys role in enhancing national security?

HISTORY/BACKGROUND The Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the forerunner of which is the National Unification Committee (NUC), is mandated to oversee, coordinate, and integrate the implementation of the comprehensive peace process. Its mandate is in accordance with Executive Order (EO) No. 3, Series of 2001 that defines the policy and administrative structure for governments peace process, and for enhanced and strengthened OPAPP. Efforts of OPAPP are moored on PNOYs four-pronged National Security Policy that is focused on governance, delivery of basic services, economic reconstruction and sustainable development, and security sector reform. It envisions a just and lasting peace for the nation and for all Filipinos and seeks to oversee, coordinate, and integrate the implementation of the comprehensive peace process. In order to forge peace agreements between government and armed groups in the soonest possible time, it pushes for the mainstreaming of the peace process in its bid to gain general public support and participation in necessitating both the armed groups and the government to remain at the negotiating tables. This effort is a combined communication and social mobilization campaign with peace partners from various sectors, promoting projects and activities that intend to bring the peace process into the consciousness of the public.

PRECURSOR OF OPAPP E.O 19, Series of 1992: National Unification Commission (NUC) It was in September 1,1992, during the early years of the presidency of Fidel V. Ramos (FVR), when the NUC was created under Executive Order No. 19, Series of 1992 as an instrument of the government in facilitating achievement of its priority concerns- a viable general amnesty program and peace process- that will lead to a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. One of the referent foundations in the establishment of the NUC was the Executive Order No. 103, Series of 1986 that constitutes the National Reconciliation and Development Program (NRDP) as a priority program during the presidency of Cory C. Aquino. It was in this line that made the Ramos Administration believed that in order to bring back the rest of the rebels in our society and to the folds of the law, there is a need to undertake comprehensive and participative peace process which will involve all concerned sectors of the society in order to generate a collective political will to attain peace with justice. The commission was given a period of ninety (90) days to formulate and recommend to the president, after consulting with the concerned sectors of the society, a viable general amnesty program and peace process that will lead to a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the country. In June 1993, nine (9) months later, the commission officially ended its term when its recommendations were accepted and adopted by the Ramos Administration as basis for his declared peace strategy. The report of the NUC was considered a groundbreaking in recognizing poverty and inequality as the primary causes of conflict and in setting out the Six Paths to Peace that became the operational framework for government peace policy (Ferrer, 2002). Public participation through consultation became part of governance. Due to heightened public awareness, it has etched a clear network of peace organizations. Also, the three (3) principles underlying the comprehensive peace process were established and recommended by the NUC to the president. Executive Order No. 125, Series of 1993 The demise of NUC has made for the creation of OPAPP in accordance to E.O. Number 125, Series of 1993, under the tutelage of FVR that defined the approach and administrative structure for governments comprehensive peace efforts. OPAPP 2

assumed the advisory and coordinative functions of the NUC. It followed up on the set of do-ables with relevant government agencies. The same EO has paved for the creation of Government Peace Negotiating Panels (GPNP) that signaled an open line for serious talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New peoples Army (CPP-NDF-NPA or CNN), Moro groups, and the military rebels during that era. According to Ferrer (2002), a wide scale consultative process stimulated the emergence of a national network of peace conveners, peace advocates, and peace groups. Intense participatory processes have reinvigorated forging of peace effort between the government and aforesaid groups. Proofs to these were the adoption of peace agreements of the government with the military rebels in 1995; with the (Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1996; ceasefire agreement with the (Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 1997; and formal talks with the (National Democratic Front (NDF) in 1995 and 1998 wherein an agreement was signed but remained inoperable. The succession of Philippine presidents after FVR have sown that the voices of OPAPP and peace advocates are heard only if the chief executive is willing to listen (Ferrer, 2002).
OPAPP
SECRETARIAT

NRDC
SECRETARIAT GPNP CHAIRMAN PANEL ADVISERS MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER

PRESIDENT
GPNP CHAIRMAN PANEL ADVISERS

SECRETARIAT MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER

SECRETARIAT GPNP CHAIRMAN PANEL ADVISERS MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER

Figure 1. Administrative Structure based on EO No. 125, Series of 1993 3

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON THE PEACE PROCESS Executive Order No. 3, Series of 2001 The desire of the government to reaffirm its continuing commitment to the comprehensive peace process and to consolidate gains from previous efforts has made for emergence of EO No. 3, Series of 2001. This EO intends to pursue the primary objective of the government in attainment of a just, comprehensive, and enduring peace under the rule of law and in accordance with constitutional process that is the basic foundation for sustainable human and economic development and national prosperity. Nevertheless, to further enhance the contribution of the civil society to the comprehensive peace process, institutionalization of peoples participation becomes essential. It is founded at and guided by the same NUCs recommended principles and paths to peace- Three Principles and Six Paths to Peace- that is believed to be an inevitable necessity for the attainment of a just and enduring peace. As spelled out in its objective, with certainty that a just, comprehensive and enduring peace not merely requires ending internal armed conflict, is the resolution of the root causes of the armed conflicts and social unrest, transformation of the Philippine society to one characterized by justice, equity, tolerance, harmonious pluralism, and full respect for human rights. Moreover, the lessons learned from the past implementation and the impetus to strengthen and streamline the processes and rationalize structure towards an effective and integrated approach in pursuance of achieving peace that is responsive to the changing conditions of the country have been taken into consideration. The Principles of the Comprehensive Peace Process 1) A comprehensive peace process should be community-based, reflecting the sentiments, values, and principles important to all Filipinos. Thus, it shall be defined not by the government alone, or by the different contending groups only, but by all Filipinos as one community. 2) A comprehensive peace process aims to forge a new social compact for a just, equitable, humane, and pluralistic society. It seeks to establish a genuinely pluralistic society, where all individuals and groups are free to engage in peaceful competition for predominance of their political programs without fear, through the exercise of rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, and 4

where they may compete for political power through an electoral system that is free, fair and honest. 3) A comprehensive peace process seeks a principled and peaceful resolution to the internal armed conflicts, with neither blame nor surrender, but with dignity for all concerned. The Six Paths to Peace 1) PURSUIT OF SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND POLITICAL REFORMS. This component involves the vigorous implementation of various policies, reforms, programs, and projects aimed at addressing the root causes of internal armed conflicts and social unrest. This may require administrative action, new legislation, or even constitutional amendments. 2) CONSENSUS BUILDING AND EMPOWERMENT FOR PEACE. This component includes continuing consultations on both national and local levels to build consensus for a peace agenda and process, and the mobilization and facilitation of peoples participation in the peace process. 3) PEACEFUL, NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT WITH THE DIFFERENT REBEL GROUPS. This component involves the conduct of face-to-face negotiations to reach peaceful settlement with the different rebel groups. It also involves the effective implementation of peace agreements. 4) PROGRAMS FOR RECONCILIATION, REINTEGRATION INTO MAINSTREAM SOCIETY AND REHABILITATION. This component includes programs to address the Legal status and security of former rebels, as well as communitybased assistance programs to address the economic, social and psychological rehabilitation needs of former rebels, demobilized combatants and civilian victims of the internal armed conflicts. 5) ADDRESSING CONCERNS ARISING FROM CONTINUING ARMED

HOSTILITIES. This component involves the strict implementation of laws and policy guidelines, and the institution of programs to ensure the protection of noncombatants and reduce the impact of the armed conflict on communities found in 5

conflict areas 6) BUILDING AND NURTURING A CLIMATE CONDUCIVE TO PEACE. This component includes peace advocacy and peace education programs, and the implementation of various confidence-building measures. KEY FUNCTIONS OF OPPAP The Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP) shall be in charged with the management and supervision of the comprehensive peace process. The PAPP shall be appointed by the President and shall have the rank and remuneration of a Cabinet Member. He shall have the authority to coordinate and integrate, in behalf of the president, all existing peace efforts. As such, the PAPP shall have direct supervision and control over the specific structures and programs designed for the implementations of the comprehensive peace process. He shall have the following functions and responsibilities: 1) Advise and assist the President in the management, direction and supervision of the comprehensive peace process; 2) Recommend to the President policies, programs and actions to implement the comprehensive peace process; 3) Report to the President on the progress of implementation of the comprehensive peace process; 4) Supervise the government agencies and instrumentalities to include their program and activities, purposely created for the implementation of various components of the comprehensive peace process, such as the Government Peace Negotiating Panels and the National Program for Unification and Development; 5) Coordinate with other government agencies involved in the implementation of the comprehensive peace process, including the National Amnesty Commission and the National Anti-Poverty Commission, as well as the various departments and instrumentalities, which should participate or provide support to the overall effort;

6) Conduct regular dialogues with the National Peace Forum and other peace partners to seek relevant information, comments and recommendations as well as to render appropriate and timely reports on the progress of the comprehensive peace process. 7) Perform such other functions as directed by the President.

SECRETARIAT

NPUDC

GPNP CHAIRMAN PANEL ADVISERS

MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER

NAC

PRESIDENT
OPAPP GPNP CHAIRMAN PANEL ADVISERS NPF (ADVISER)

SECRETARIAT MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER

SECRETARIAT

GPNP CHAIRMAN PANEL ADVISERS

MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER

Figure 2. Administrative Structure based on EO No.3, Series of 2001

ROLE OF OPAPP IN NATIONAL SECURITY A just, comprehensive, and enduring peace under the rule of law and in accordance with the constitutional provisions and processes is believed to be the bedrock for attaining sustainable human and economic development and national prosperity. Attainment of a just, comprehensive, and enduring peace does not merely require ending armed conflicts but as importantly the resolution of the root causes of these conflicts and social unrest. Certainly, in doing this, the government inevitably and initially needs to provide conduits that will channel peace talks into the mainstream of 7

acceptable and democratic processes. OPAPP becomes an essential government mechanism responsible in facilitating the intricate comprehensive peace process by showing a continuing earnest commitment of the government to consolidate its gains from the previous efforts. It has to mainstream the peace process in order to gain general public support to encouraging contending parties to remain at the negotiating tables and has to deal sometimes with almost insurmountable tasks of striking a balance between conflicting parties interests and concerns. The absence of OPPAPs efforts in building a sense of comprehensive, just and enduring peace may predispose non attainment of a condition or state wherein the peoples way of life and institutions, territorial integrity and sovereignty including wellbeing of the people are protected and enhanced. Its role in providing strategies and managing the peace process through institutionalizing public awareness and participation is paramount to achieving the fruits of national security and development.

References: E.O. No. 3, Series of 2002: Defining Policy and Administrative Structure for Governments Comprehensive Peace Efforts E.O. No. 19, Series of 1992: Constituting the National Unification Commission, Prescribing its Authority and Functions and for Other Purposes E.O. No. 125, Series of 1993: Defining the Approach and Administrative Structure for Governments Comprehensive Peace Efforts Ferrer, M. (2002). Resources: Conciliation Resources. Retrieved October 13, 2012, from Conciliation Resources Website: http://www.c-r.org