Mindanaoans most optimistic about GPH-MILF peace deal – SWS

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/05 October) — Will a peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) be reached between now and 2013? Twenty-four percent of Mindanaoans thought so, according to a survey done on September 4-7 by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

This optimism among Mindanaoans for a peace agreement in 2011-2013 was higher compared to 12% in Metro Manila, 10% in Balance Luzon and 6% in the Visayas, the survey said.

Combined with those who believe a peace deal can be reached in 2014-2016, optimism remained highest in Mindanao with 55%, followed by the Visayas, 51%, and in both Metro Manila and Balance Luzon, 50%.

Nationwide, 52% said they expect the government and the MILF to reach an agreement before President Aquino’s term ends in 2016.

Overall, 71% of the 1,200 respondents said they were hopeful for a deal between the government and the MILF. Again, Mindanao registered the highest optimism, 85%, broken down into 44% “very hopeful” and 41% “somewhat hopeful”. Metro Manila had a majority of 72%, Balance Luzon 67%, and the Visayas 64%.

Of the 29% who were pessimistic, 15% said they were “somewhat not hopeful” and 14% said they were “not hopeful at all”. Pessimism was highest in the Visayas with 36%; Balance Luzon, 33%; Metro Manila, 28%; and Mindanao, 15%.

Those who expect an agreement to be reached in 2016-2022 comprised 23% in Metro Manila, 21% in both Mindanao and Balance Luzon, and 15% in the Visayas.

Pessimists, or those who think an agreement can never be reached, comprised 20% in Mindanao. Pessimism was highest in the Visayas with 30%. In Balance Luzon the figure was 24% and in Metro Manila, 22%.

Asked if the August 4 meeting between Aquino and MILF chair Al-haj Murad Ebrahim would help forge a peace agreement, 51% of Mindanao respondents said yes. This majority is lower compared to those in Metro Manila, 61%, and in Balance Luzon and the Visayas which both stood at 56%.

Those who were undecided about the significance of the meeting comprised 35% in Mindanao, 26% in the Visayas, 25% in Balance Luzon, and 20% in Metro Manila.

Nationwide, 56% agreed with the meeting while 16% disagreed for a net majority of 40%. By area, the proportion of those who disagreed was highest in the Visayas with 18%. In Metro Manila those who disagreed comprised 17%, in Balance Luzon, 16%, and in Mindanao, 13%.

The findings of the Sept. 4-7 survey were first published in Businessworld on Oct. 3. As the media partner of SWS in polling, Businessworld holds first publication rights of its surveys. (MindaNews)

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