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Delay in peace talks to harm gov’t – MILF

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) yesterday said the delay in peace negotiations would cause the government more harm and could stir negative reactions from the international community.

In an editorial posted on its website luwaran.com, the MILF said the delays are caused by “frequent changes” in the positions of government.

“Without doubt, the delay in the peace talks is causing more harm to the government. The frequent changes, virtually attitudinal, in positions of government in the negotiating table are not only angering the MILF but also irking the international community,” the group said.

The MILF said the straight path policy of the Aquino administration is now being doubted seriously.

“If this is not arrested, the consequence would be very damaging. Credibility is one commodity that is hard to earn but so easy to lose,” it said.

The MILF said the military’s plan to shift focus to external from internal defense hinges on the resolution of the Bangsamoro issue.

“This shift of gear is still contingent on solving the Moro question. As long as this problem is not resolved satisfactorily, it will not fade away, even assuming that the MILF loses steam or becomes irrelevant,” it said. 

“New groups, perhaps more radical, will emerge and carry on the struggle for right to self-determination.”

Earlier, the MILF criticized the government for supposedly diluting the annexes on wealth sharing initialed by representatives of the two panels last February.

Last Friday, vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar said many MILF ground commanders are losing hope that the Bangsamoro issue would be resolved through negotiations.

He said there have been sentiments that the government is deliberately delaying the signing of a comprehensive compact agreement.

The group has formally informed the government about their concerns through Malaysian facilitator Tengku Datuk Abdul Ghafar Tengku Mohamed.

Jaafar, nevertheless, said that the MILF leadership still believes in the seriousness of President Aquino in resolving the issue peacefully.

Presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Deles admitted that the annexes took “a little bit more time” because the President wants an agreement that is doable.

“Out President does not want to sign something that is not doable or will offer false promises. It will cause problems. He wants these things fixed now,” Deles told radio dzBB yesterday.

“I believe that there will be movements in the next days,” she added.

BANGSAMORO

GHADZALI JAAFAR

GOVERNMENT

LAST FRIDAY

MILF

MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT

OUT PRESIDENT

PRESIDENT AQUINO

TENGKU DATUK ABDUL GHAFAR TENGKU MOHAMED

TERESITA DELES

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