Statement of OPAPP spokesperson Romeo Montenegro

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza today conferred with key officials and local leaders in Cotabato City and discussed the impact of the phased pull-out of the Malaysian contingent in the International Monitoring Team.

He noted that with the local peace stakeholders demonstrating greater determination in sustaining the peace, the downsizing of Malaysian peace monitors will not result to a breakdown in ceasefire mechanism.

The government continues to be committed to uphold the primacy of the peace process. To squander the gains in the peace negotiations thus far achieved is definitely not an option for the government.

We are confident that the MILF, inspite of some difficulties we are now facing with, shares the same views.