Dureza told MindaNews that Indonesia, chair of the OIC’s Ministerial Committee of the Eight had requested for the later date when Ambassador Hassan Wirajuda, who facilitated the completion of the 1992-1996 peace talks between the Philippine government and the MNLF, would be available.
It has been one year since the Tripartite Meeting was supposed to have been held.
The Tripartite Meeting was suggested by Ambassador Sayed El-Masry, adviser to the Secretary-General of the OIC and head of delegation of the OIC Field Visit to Southern Philippines in May last year.
El Masry’s delegation, sent over to look into the implementation of the 10-year old peace agreement, proposed a tripartite meeting in Jeddah sometime in July with MNLF chair Nur Misuari to “work out an implementation program” to carry out the provisions that have not been implemented “or have been changed in a way.”
Misuari has been in detention for alleged rebellion, since January 2002 in the Philippines. Between November 2001 and the first week of January 2002, he was detained in Sabah, Malaysia for alleged illegal entry.
The OIC had repeatedly called for his release.
Misuari has yet to attend a hearing on the rebellion charges as what has been the subject of hearings over the last five years has been on his petition for bail.
“The parties must sit together,” El-Masry said, adding that “for peace to really be permanent, it has to be just. One of the parties thinks the agreement has not been implemented. The purpose of proposing a meeting in Jeddah is for this, (for the parties) to sit together with open hearts and minds and only after that can we reach an assessment of the situation,” El-Masry said.
El-Masry noted that as of May 2006, there was a “wide gap” between the reports of the parties on the implementation of the peace pact. “We are trying to narrow the gap. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)