R-9 development, peace and order councils seek bigger role in GPH-MILF talks

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/16 February) – Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo said he favors the proposal to give two regional bodies of Region IX a bigger role in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines peace panel and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Local officials in the region have proposed to make the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) a part of the stakeholders in the ongoing talks.

The proposal was presented by Dipolog City Mayor Evelyn Uy, the RDC-9 Chair, during the meeting of the RPOC-9 Wednesday afternoon.

Robredo said that while it is the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) that has the final say on the issue, he is fully supporting the idea.

He added the involvement of the two councils should not only be in terms of being informed of the progress in the talks but also being consulted on the next steps in the negotiation.

“Hopefully, we will be able to work with OPAPP on this, inasmuch as there will be security implications in so far as Zamboanga Peninsula is concerned once this agreement is finalized,” the secretary, adding enough consultations should be done before any agreement is finalized to prevent the mistakes of the past.

Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat, the newly-appointed RPOC-9 chairman, said that until today, the city and other parts of Zamboanga Peninsula have not been consulted by the government peace panel despite the promise of panel chair Marvic Leonen to come back and consult with the residenats.

Lobregat said the RDCs and RPOCs of other regions in Mindanao should also be involved in the peace negotiations as all regions in the island would be affected by the agreement the two parties may reach.

Robredo was here to administer the oath of Lobregat as new RPOC-9 chief and for a dialogue with the council members during which piracy, illegal fishing, mining and other issues were brought to the attention of the secretary. (MindaNews)

Comments

comments