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Nation

Mindanao execs elated over MILF's 'assurance'

John Unson - The Philippine Star

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Local sectors reiterate calls to resume the peace process two months after the incident that claimed lives of government forces and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao  chairman of the ARMM’s inter-agency peace and order council, said there is now even a "bigger reason and enough ascendancy" for the government and the MILF to rise together and continue dealing with each other.

"There is a very obvious firm stance shared by Malacañang and the MILF, to address the controversy sparked by the Mamasapano incident peacefully and we in the Moro communities are happy about that," Hataman said.

The  present ARMM administration is opposed to any military solution in addressing the decades-old Mindanao Moro issue, which five Philippine presidents had passed on to one another unresolved until President Benigno Aquino III took office.

Aquino had repeatedly promised to wind up within his term the GPH-MILF peace initiative supposedly to benefit both sides and all stakeholders, regardless of whether they are Muslims, Christians, or members of Mindanao’s highland indigenous groups.  

Reverend Troy Cordero, a preacher in a local Christian sect, said it is consoling to hear the MILF reiterate its commitment to the peace process, as stated in its findings on the Mamasapano incident.

"What else do we have to wait for? Let's resume with the peace process now. Move on and revive the government-MILF peace efforts," Cordero said.

An ethnic Teduray leader, Mayor Ramon Piang of Upi town in Maguindanao, said stakeholders in the peace process must not let the "noisy warmongering" people outside of Mindanao bedevil the peace process.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said the government and the MILF should focus now on rebuilding the tattered cordiality of the peace overture by both sides.

"And we're ready to help achieve that goal," said Mangudadatu, who has jurisdiction over 36 towns that are all bastions of the MILF.

The MILF absolved its members involved in the January 25 firefight in Mamasapano, Maguindanao and said that police commandos in an anti-terror operation fired the first shot that precipitated the encounter that left 44 policemen, 17 rebels and five civilians dead.

vuukle comment

ESMAEL MANGUDADATU

MAGUINDANAO

MAGUINDANAO GOV

MAMASAPANO

MAYOR RAMON PIANG OF UPI

MILF

MINDANAO

MINDANAO MORO

MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT

PEACE

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