GRP-MILF peace nego under Aquino administration to start “before November”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 September) – The first meeting between the peace panels of the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will likely be held “before November,” Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process said.

Deles, who attended the turnover of the chairmanship of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) from lawyer Jesus Dureza to Luwalhati  Ricasa-Antonino, said Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Hj Aman, met with President Aquino on Tuesday “to convey Prime Minister Najib’s positive intentions for Malaysia to continue to assist the GRP-MILF peace process.”

Deles said “further exchanges will take place including a possible meeting of the two leaders to personally discuss the matter.”

In his State of the Nation Address on July 26, President Aquino had expressed hopes the talks would start “after Ramadan.”

Ramadan ended on September 9.

Deles did not say when the possible meeting between the two heads of state would be but MindaNews noted there are many possibilities this month and early next month.

President Aquino is leaving for the United States on September 19 to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York and the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting.

He is scheduled to return to the country on September 27 but will leave again for Belgium on October 2 for the Asia-Europe Meeting.

Deles aid “As of this time, the GRP panel has completed its preparations for  the resumption of talks. We are hopeful that the first meeting can be held before November.”

The MILF on Monday announced the composition of its new peace panel.

Mohagher Iqbal, who chaired the panel since late July 2003 when MILF vice chair for military affairs Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, then the peace
panel chair, assumed the post of MILF chair following the death of Salamat Hashim, will continue to chair the panel, the MILF’s website,
luwaran.com said.

Also retained along with Iqbal are senior panel member Datu Michael Mastura and panel member Maulana Alonto. Lawyers Lanang Ali and Musib Buat have been replaced “purely for health reasons,” by Abdullah Camlian, former head of the MILF peace panel’s technical committee and Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga, executive director of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies.

B’laan datu Antonio Kinoc of Columbio, Sulltan Kudarat, a former member of the MILF peace panel’s technical working group and an
alternate member of the panel representing the indigenous peoples, will also continue to serve as alternate member.

President Aquino named lawyer Marvic Leonen, Dean of the University of the Philippines’ College of Law as government peace panel chair.

Leonen’s panel is composed of  former Agriculture Secretary Senen Bacani who served under President Cory Aquino, UP Political Science
Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Upi Vice Mayor Ramon Piang and the new head of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos. (Carolyn O.
Arguillas/MindaNews)

URL: http://www.mindanews.com/peace-process/2010/09/16/grp-milf-peace-nego-under-aquino-administration-to-start-before-november/

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