ARMM official denies reports for direct participation in peace talks

August 23, 2010 11:20 am 

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 23 – An official of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has denied reports that they aspire to become member of the government peace panel talking peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

ARMM executive secretary Naguib Sinarimbo issued the clarification in a recent meeting hosted by ARMM Regional Governor Ansaruddin Alonto-Adiong for a 24-member delegation from Thailand led by Ambassador Kulkumut Sighara Na Ayudhaya, who solicited ideas on the history and operations of the Muslim Mindanao autonomous governance.

He said the ARMM leadership only wants to be heard by the two sides that are talking peace in Mindanao.

“We don’t push for direct participation or membership in the government peace panel in talks with the MILF. We would want the national government, the MILF and other decision-makers in the impending resumption of the peace talks to listen to us as we speak out the aspirations and concerns of the ARMM constituents,” Sinarimbo said.

He made the clarification amid reports that the government peace panel led by University of the Philippines College of Law Dean Marvic Leonen has taken in Dr. Hamid Barra, a former ARMM education secretary and incumbent chair of the Ulama Council of the Philippines, as panel new member.

The other two panel members are UP Prof. Miriam Ferrer-Coronel, a peace activist; and former Agriculture Secretary Senen Bacani.

The fifth member, who will most likely come from the indigenous people of Mindanao, is still to be named by the government.

Sinarimbo said the Adiong administration of the ARMM has intensified an assertive role in representing the voice of the autonomous governance to the protracted peace negotiations, launching lately region-wide relevant consultations.

He said the ARMM peace summit would collate data gathered from the field consultations for infusion to a peace agenda the Adiong administration will submit later to Malacanang for possible adoption in its plan to resume peace talks with the MILF under President Aquino’s policy of “justice and peace for all.”

Representatives from various sectors, including the MILF and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), were invited to the field consultations in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi last month and to the regional peace summit set after the Ramadhan fasting in Cotabato City. (PNA)



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