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A dampener in peace talks

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The Moro Islamic Liberation Front expressed pessimism it will be able to firm up a peace accordwith the government during the term of Pres. Benigno Aquino III. The statementcase as a downer amidst the present call of various sectors in Mindanao thatcall for an evaluation of the possible expansion of the Autonomous Region ofMuslim Mindanao and the possibility of amending the present constitution toaccommodate and make possible some of the demands of the separatist front.

Last week, Mindanao stakeholders and the academe held various forums to obtain inputs from theparticipants that might be of help in the crafting of an agenda for the peace negotiating panels with the end in view of arriving at an accord.

The negativism of the MILF doused cold water into the enthusiasm of many that a peace pact can bearrived at this year. The Front said that it is only the dictates of theOrganization of Islamic Countries that a ceasefire is holding. This statementis an affront to the government which in search for a faster solution to theproblems besetting ARMM region. It was the late Pres. Corazon Aquino, mother ofthe incumbent president that ensconced ARMM in the new charter.

We do not think thatthe OIC are as enthusiastic as they were before since most of the major patronsof the secessionist fronts are having their own serious political upheavals.The MILF can try the scare tactics but the national leadership are notnaïve to the turmoil that some OIC members are dealing with which had resulted in the major overhaul in their political and social set-ups.

The Aquino government is bending back to meet happy compromises with the MILF. If the Front is looking for a government that wants to put an end to the southernconflict, they can be certain with the present administration. Missing on thisone will be messing with an opportunity to hammer a peace accord which a large majority of Filipino Muslims had long wanted to be achieved.


by Menardo Wenceslao




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