Saturday, November 9, 2013

GPH peace panel consults Zambo execs on MILF peace talks

From the Website of OPPAP

GPH peace panel consults Zambo execs on MILF peace talks

Posted on Thursday, Nov 7th, 2013

Zamboanga City – Government of the Philippines (GPH) chief peace negotiator Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, panel member Secretary Mehol Sadain, chair of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, and Atty. Anna Tarhata Basman, head of the panel’s legal team, met with top government officials of this city on Tuesday to consult them on the ongoing talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
In opening the meeting, Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco assured the government peace panel of the city officials' support to the peace process. "We are one with this," she said.

She also urged the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to continue the peace dialogue in Mindanao.

The government’s negotiating team arrived in this city on Monday, November 4, to jumpstart a two-day consultation process with stakeholders. The peace panel likewise held separate consultations with representatives from the Silsillah Dialogue Movement's Inter Faith Council of Leaders (IFCL), Peace Advocates of Zamboanga (PAZ), Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development, Inc. (ZABIDA) and the Muslim migrant communities of Zamboanga City.  

During the dialogue with key local government officials here, Coronel-Ferrer pointed out the importance of the local government units (LGUs) in the peace process since they are in the frontline of communicating with and ensuring the peace and security of the people in the communities.

Coronel-Ferrer stressed that the government wants to make sure that the local governments are properly consulted. One reason the talks collapsed and the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) was voided by the Supreme Court was the lack of transparency and consultations.

This was also re-echoed by District 2 Councilor Juan "Kim" Elago, saying that the LGUs should be on board in the entire peace process. He said there is a need to cascade accurate information on the ground to prevent confusion among stakeholders about the southern peace process.

The entire city council coming from the two districts and Vice-Mayor Cesar Itturalde participated in the consultation forum.

The city officials said they see the need for the local government and OPAPP to deepen its engagement to effectively bring accurate information on the ground to avoid misconceptions and address disinformation meant to derail the peace process.

Coronel-Ferrer also disclosed during the meeting that on Sept. 9, the day Zamboanga City was attacked by forces associated with the Moro National Liberation Front Nur Misuari group, the GPH peace panel was meeting with the President and members of the Cabinet to get their guidance on the negotiation issues before the panel flew to Kuala Lumpur on the same night.

She recalled that throughout the meeting, the President and the Cabinet received reports on the situation in Zamboanga. Several cabinet secretaries were dispatched to the city and the President himself followed several days later. In the course of the siege, Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles, with the assistance of Secretary Edwin Lacierda engaged the media and the general public in explaining the processes that the Aquino administration undertook with regard to the GPH-Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) peace process since the beginning of the President's term in July, 2010. At the same time, Sec. Deles, with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario was coordinating with the Organization of Islamic Conference-Peace Committee for Southern Philippines (OIC-PCSP), the secretariat of the GPH-OIC-MNLF Tripartite Implementation Review Process, in finding ways that could help resolve the situation in Zamboanga City.

OPPAP Website



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