Palace bucks calls for Deles, Ferrer dismissal
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2015 - 3:47pm

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Thursday rejected calls for President Benigno Aquino III to fire peace adviser Secretary Teresita Deles and government chief peace negotiator Miriam Coronel Ferrer.

In a press briefing, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the President continues to trust the two officials amid criticisms that they are lawyering for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the wake of a fatal police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

"Buo ang tiwala ng ating Pangulo sa mga bumubuo ng ating peace panel," Coloma said. "Ginagampanan nila ang kanilang tungkulin nang ayon sa patnubay na ibinibigay ng Pangulo."

Lawmakers, particularly Sen. Alan Cayetano, have called for the resignation of Deles and Ferrer for supposedly defending the MILF despite the rebels' armed encounter with the Special Action Force troopers of the Philippine National Police.

Cayetano had heated exchanges with the peace officials during the Senate hearings on the Mamasapano encounter, which killed 44 police commandos and 18 MILF combatants.

The incident took place despite a ceasefire between the MILF and the government, which have an ongoing peace negotiations.

ALAN CAYETANO COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY HERMINIO COLOMA JR. DELES AND FERRER MAMASAPANO MIRIAM CORONEL FERRER MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT PANGULO PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO SECRETARY TERESITA DELES SPECIAL ACTION FORCE
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