Palace remains upbeat on Mindanao peace talks

July 6, 2009 9:16 am 

MANILA, July 6 — Malacanang remains optimistic that the stalled peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will resume despite the alleged involvement of MILF renegade members in the recent Cotabato City bombing that killed at least five innocent civilians.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Lorelei Fajardo said in a press briefing in Malacanang that ending hostilities in Mindanao is part of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 10-point legacy agenda.

Although she did not deny that the explosion in Cotabato City may cause a delay, she expressed confidence that the stalled talks will be completed before the President steps down next year.

On Sunday, the President instructed Secretary Jesus Dureza to lead all concerned agencies in the distribution of assistance to the victims of the explosion.

Fajardo said that in compliance with the President’s directives, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has distributed food and medical assistance to the victims while the Department of National Defense (DND) and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) gave P10,000 each as financial assistance to the families of the victims and P5,000 each to the injured individuals. (PNA)

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