Guingona: Gov't should get a communications team to educate public on peace process

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 November) —  Citing the failure of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain to get the support of  Congress in 2008 was a failure of communication, Sen. Teofisto Guingona III stressed the need to educate the public about the peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

He vowed to bring to the attention of the government that it should get a communications team to explain to the public about the peace negotiations.

“Will senators support it? It depends on how the communication about the negotiations will be,” he told participants at the end of the three-day 6th Mindanao Media Summit here Sunday.

Guingona heads the Senate’s committee on peace, unity, and reconciliation.

He cited Fr. Albert Alejo’s advocacy for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to initiate a communications team precisely to avert the miscommunication about the peace process.

He admitted that the legislators were shocked about many aspects of the peace talks that were kept from them.

“The last thing we want is an excellent peace agreement but will be rejected by the people because of misconceptions,” he said.

Guingona vowed to use his position to ensure Congress’ support to the efforts for peace in Mindanao and to make sure Mindanao gets a fair share of the national budget.

He told MindaNews he would like to be in the advisory body, which President Benigno Aquino III plans to establish to restore confidence in the peace process.

Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga, a member of the peace panel of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said in his presentation on the second day of the summit that the media has the responsibility to educate the public about the peace negotiations. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)