MILF doubts peace pact with Aquino government

Posted on March 31, 2012

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Finally, the MILF realizes it! From the start it is obvious that the PeNoy administration was simply stalling for time until it could put its men in place at the ARMM. And now that they are there, PeNoy and his cohorts thinks that they can “reform” the ARMM and will have no need for any peace agreements with MILF or whoever.

MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar

FROM GMA NEWS ONLINE:

MILF ‘doubtful’ if peace pact can be signed under PNoy watch

March 31, 2012 10:08am

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front on Saturday voiced doubts if it can conclude and sign a peace agreement with the Philippine government under President Benigno Aquino III’s watch.

MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar said the MILF was disappointed with chief government negotiator Marvic Leonen’s insinuation the talks are reaching a stalemate.

“We are very doubtful now whether we can sign a peace deal with government under this present administration,” Jaafar said after a meeting of top officials of the MILF’s political committees.

Some 200 MILF political officers from Mindanao convened recently with Jaafar in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, to assess the peace process.

Jaafar said the MILF’s political officers were “disappointed” with the outcome of the talks between the government and MILF in Malaysia last March 19 to 21.

“What the government peace panel headed by Marvic Leonen did in the last talks was never our immediate expectation which is the reason why we are very much disappointed,” he said.

He referred to reports quoting government negotiators as warning last March 26 that negotiations may be approaching a “stalemate.”

Government peace panel chairman Marvic Leonen had been quoted as saying both parties must make “difficult decisions” if a peace deal is to remain on track.

“We are approaching what would seem to be a stalemate in our ideas for transition as well as in our ideas of how to make permanent the solutions that work for our peoples,” Leonen said in a statement.

Jaafar said that while the MILF did not expect the signing of a comprehensive peace compact with the government during that meeting, it had expected at least a significant breakthrough to move the talks forward.

He also recalled the government and Leonen had claimed they expected a peace deal signed with the MILF in the first quarter of 2012.

Also, he said the MILF political officers took that statement as an ultimatum of sorts, but maintained the “MILF is never moved by bluff.”

Since the assumption of President Benigno Aquino III in 2010, the MILF and the Bangsamoro people was upbeat in optimism for a comprehensive peace deal with the government.

“There is really a problem now with the government policy. The MILF just can’t tell with certainty whether it is with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and/or Government Peace Negotiating Panel headed by Dean Leonen, or in other departments of the government,” Jaafar said. — LBG, GMA News