Talks with MILF to resume next month — Leonen

December 29, 2010 12:48 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 28 — Hoping that the Malaysian government would act to address the facilitator dispute, government negotiators on Tuesday expressed optimism that peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will resume next month.

Atty. Marvic Leonen, chair of the government panel for the peace talks with the MILF, said the third-party facilitator issue needs to be resolved first and they are confident that Malaysia would address the concerns of both sides.

"We still remain optimistic that talks with the MILF will resume in January. We hope that the MILF can share that optimism," Leonen said in a statement.

The government had asked the Malaysian government to replace Datuk Othman bin Abd’ Razak as third-party facilitator because of his alleged pro-MILF bias.

“A politically negotiated settlement is needed at the soonest possible time so that the energies of all can be channeled to addressing justice, lasting peace, sustainable development and prosperity for all peoples in Mindanao,’ he continued.

He noted that administrative and security concerns are ongoing and they are prepared to discuss these with MILF counterparts and vow to continue the series of consultations with relevant sectors particularly the issues raised by the Moro rebels.

“We think that this is what negotiating in good faith means. It is also the better part of prudence since issues taken out of context do contribute to environments which can only foster more violence. We invite all concerned to help us address the problems in the spirit of finding lasting solutions to a complex problem,” he added.

Meanwhile, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita “Ging” Quintos-Deles said the early signing of the 2011 national budget by President Benigno S. Aquino III will definitely fuel the administration’s reforms and expedite promotion of the peace agenda.

In a statement, Deles said the approved budget of P235 million for the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will be used for peace negotiations and parallel efforts, such as humanitarian, rehabilitation and development programs.

Part of the budget, she said, will be used to implement PAMANA (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan), the government’s flagship program to help empower internally displaced persons and other families living in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. (PNA)

vcs/PCOO/ssc

Comments

Comments are closed.