OPAPP Sec. Deles: Remain Vigilant over Peace Process

A March 25, 2011 press release prepared by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles on Wednesday called on various sectors of society to remain vigilant over the peace process, stressing the importance of “regularly checking the signposts of how and where it is moving.”
“This, to me, is yet another indicator that various sectors are on board and engaged, and that there is collective interest, action, and concern to ensure that the process is not left alone to the parties in our negotiation tables,” she stated during a forum dubbed, “Peace Conference on the Bangsamoro Question: Bridging Unity on the History and Future of the Peace Talks to Resolve the Bangsamoro Issues in Mindanao” held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.
Deles likewise noted that there has been a “collective feeling of eagerness” in wanting to finish the work on peace since it started some three decades ago.
The peace adviser tackled the Bangsamoro issues in relation to the ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). She also discussed the challenges and prospects of the country’s peace process.
Marvic Leonen, Chair of GPH panel for MILF talks, was also present in the conference and elaborated on the progress of the talks with the Moro group.
Leonen reported that both parties have agreed to one year as a reasonable timeframe for them to achieve a negotiated political agreement.
He further encouraged the civil society organizations to “make political choices” and air their opinion on different Moro issues so that decisions will not be solely made by the government panel.
Previously, in a press conference, Leonen said that one of the main questions that the panel will ask on the next round of talks pertains to the definition of “Bangsamoro” knowing that the MILF will be “willing and excited to discuss the topic.”
The MILF panel, during the formal exploratory talks in February, submitted to the government a draft Comprehensive Compact which represents the positions of the Moro group on the substantive issues of the negotiations.
Leonen then clarified that the Comprehensive Compact is not a document
seeking independence or cessation but it recognizes Filipino citizenship with Bangsamoro identity.
The next round of GPH-MILF talks has been set on April 27-28 as per the request of Malaysia, the third party facilitator.