MILF welcomes new GRP peace panel chair

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 July) – The former chair of Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) peace panel has welcomed the appointment of University of Philippines College of Law Dean Marvic Leonen as the head of the government’s peace panel.

In a mobile phone interview, Mohagher Iqbal, MILF information chief and also a senior member of the MILF Central Committee, said Leonen may have an edge among his predecessors given his experience in the advocacy work on indigenous peoples and ancestral domain issues in Mindanao.

Being an academician, Iqbal added that Leonen has a wide range of knowledge and understanding on the issues on ancestral domains and the rights of the indigenous peoples.
However, he said that the MILF is not particular in who’s heading the government’s peace panel because he will still have to rely on the orders of the President or to the policy of the government.

“For now, we cannot say what can we expect from Aquino administration. We must always consider any stumbling block,” Iqbal stressed, referring to the hostilities that erupt while peace talks are going on.

Both parties are always hoping for a smooth-sailing peace process, he added. “But sometimes we cannot avoid some problems along way. Peace process is a very tedious (undertaking). It is normal for us who are into revolution.”

Iqbal added the MILF peace panel remains deactivated.

The MILF will immediately announce the composition of its panel as soon as its counterpart’s panel is completed, he said.

Iqbal said he is not sure if he will be retained as the Front’s peace panel chief. “It will depend on the decision of the Central Committee.”(Keith Bacongco / Mindanews)

URL: http://www.mindanews.com/peace-process/2010/07/15/milf-welcomes-new-grp-peace-panel-chair/


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