Ferrer appointed GPH peace panel chair in talks with MILF

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/ 7 December)—Professor Miriam Coronel Ferrer was appointed chair of the government peace panel, the first time that a woman would head state negotiators in the 15-All Postsyear talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles announced Friday that President Benigno Aquino III has chosen Ferrer to replace Marvic Leonen, who was recently appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Ferrer’s appointment came as both sides gear to meet this month in Kuala Lumpur, hopefully to seal the comprehensive compact peace agreement.

“Professor Ferrer’s appointment signifies continuity and harmony in the peace talks, which is crucial towards the completion of the comprehensive agreement this December,” Deles said in a statement.

Her appointment as panel chair is well-deserved given her competence and credentials as a peace negotiator, Deles added.

Ferrer has been with the government peace panel since 2010 and serves as adviser of the technical working groups on power-sharing and normalization.

Deles described Ferrer as a staunch advocate of human rights and an expert in conflict resolution and justice, having served as the director of the Programme on Peace, Democratization and Human Rights and also the deputy director and subsequently, the director of the UP Third World Studies Center at the University of the Philippines.

“Our government remains committed to finish the comprehensive agreement with the MILF before the year ends in our endeavor to achieve just and lasting peace in Mindanao that will benefit all Filipinos,” Deles said.

For his part, Mohagher Iqbal, MILF peace panel chair, declined to comment on Ferrer’s appointment pending the formal presentation of her appointment likely when both sides meet anew this month in Malaysia.

Iqbal told MindaNews many has been asking for the MILF’s reaction after Deles issued the statement announcing Ferrer’s appointment at around 4 p.m. Friday. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)

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