GPH panel in peace talks with MILF to consult Zambo City in September

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/27 August) – The government peace panel in talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will hold consultations here next month on its proposed peace settlement, Mayor Celso Lobregat announced.

Lobregat said government peace panel chair Marvic Leonen reiterated and assured him that whatever proposal the panel submitted to the MILF on August 22 in Kuala Lumpur  was “within the realm of the constitution, no dismemberment of the republic and the sentiments of the people of Zamboanga were taken into account.”

The MILF submitted its proposal on February 10, the government on August 22. But Leonen announced in a press conference at the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur afternoon of August 22 that the MILF panel had recommended to its Central Committee to reject the government’s proposal claiming it fell “way beyond our expectations.”

MILF chair Mohagher Iqbal had described to MindaNews on August 22 that there is a huge gap between the government proposal and theirs. He likened it to “heaven and earth” but Leonen in the press conference said it was “not too far apart.”

“We will have to contend with the issues at hand and we will be ready to engage the peace panel. We don’t have to prepare for it because we have already made known our position,” Lobregat said.

Lobregat had urged residents of the city to remain vigilant in keeping watch over the developments in the GPH-MILF peace talks. (MindaNews)

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