In 1986, the People Power Revolution in the Philippines led to the fall of the Marcos dictatorship. Subsequently, peace talks with all rebel forces were initiated, the peace process as a government policy was formalised and the Office of the Peace Commissioner was established under the Office of the President.
Under President Ramos, the post of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP) with Cabinet rank was created and charged with the management of the comprehensive peace process and assisted by a fulltime Secretariat (OPAPP, www.opapp.gov.ph). In 1993, three underlying principles of the peace process were adopted:
- A comprehensive peace process should be community-based, reflecting the sentiments, values and principles important to all Filipinos.
- A comprehensive peace process aims to forge a new social compact for a just, equitable, humane and pluralistic society.
- A comprehensive peace process seeks a principal and peaceful resolution of the internal armed conflicts, with neither blame nor surrender, but with dignity for all concerned.
OPAPP is only a national body; there is no regional peace structure.
The government established Government Peace Negotiating Panels for negotiations with the different rebel groups. One Panel is focusing on the National Democratic Front (communist-led), one on the Moro National Liberation Front and the implementation of the so-called ‘Final Peace Agreement (FPA)' in 1996. In August 2010, under the new administration, OPAPP convened a consultation of civil society, August 2010, who decided to loosely band together to share and develop strategies in engaging the peace process. The body is tentatively called Kilos Kapayapaan, or Action for Peace. It will serve as a de facto consultative cum advisory body to OPAPP but will remain independent of it.
In 2001 the government decided on a Policy Framework for Peace – affirming the Guiding Principles and The Six Paths to Peace of the previous Administration – and formulated a National Peace Plan, with two components: Peacemaking and Peacekeeping (seeking to end all insurgency-related armed conflicts through peace negotiations and to reduce the level of violence through local and civil society-led peace initiatives) and Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention (seeking to address the major causes of insurgency, eliminate sources of grievance, rehabilitate and develop conflict-affected areas and heal the wounds created by the long years of armed conflict).