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PIA Press Release

Executive awaits SC ruling on MOA before proceeding with peace process - Dureza

Manila (21 August) -- The executive branch will wait for the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) before deciding whether or not to resume peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the wake of the MILF attacks on three provinces in Mindanao over the past two weeks.

This was revealed by Press Secretary Jesus G. Dureza in an interview with Radio DZBB even as he stressed that the Arroyo administration will continue the search for a lasting peace in Mindanao. "Alam naman natin na ang pakay ng Pangulo is peace in Mindanao so we will continue working towards a peaceful settlement in Mindanao."

However, the Press Secretary pointed out that "titingnan natin muna kung ano ang magiging final ruling ng Korte Suprema at doon tayo ngayon susunod, tatalima (we have to find out first what the SC ruling will be and that is what we will follow)."

Dureza stressed that the MOA-AD just has to be reviewed later on to incorporate the views of the Supreme Court "and in the light also of the incident in Mindanao dahil may question na ngayon -- ano ba talaga ito, totohanan ba ito?"

"Hintayin na lang natin kung ano iyong magiging ruling ng Korte Suprema. Pero sinasabi ko sa inyo, dahil kausap ko si SolGen Agnes Devanadera, iyong kanyang na-file na position ng ating gobyerno, eh, talagang sinabihan ang Korte Suprema na we will further review or renegotiate ang dokumento na iyan, dahil may mga opinyon ang ating mga mahistrado, and we are not insensitive to their views. Dapat pakinggan natin iyong views nila… "

Dureza said that the government is, in fact, no longer that interested in signing the MOA as is because a lot of water has passed under the bridge since the MOA was brought up for the High Court's review.

"May na-file na parang bid… sa Korte Suprema ang ating Solicitor General na si Agnes Devanadera, at ang pakay nito is to tell the Supreme Court, number one, hindi na namin pipirmahan iyong MOA na iyan SG Agnes Devanadera has submitted a motion to the Supreme Court saying that government will no longer sign the MOA)," Dureza told program host Arnold Clavio.

The Press Secretary added, "Pangalawa, dahil kailangan may further negotiation, dapat tingnan iyong mga punto na sinabi ng mga Justices natin sa Korte Suprema at pag-aralan din itong insidente na nangyayari ngayon dito sa Mindanao (Second, because there is a need for further negotiation, we have to look at the points raised by the SC associate justices while studying the ongoing debacle in Mindanao."

Dureza said the MOA-AD has to be analyzed as to whether or not it could be signed by the government "in the light of the comment given by the Supreme Court and also in the light of what is happening now in Mindanao." (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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