Conflict between gov't, MILF can be resolved through negotiations – Bangsamoro professor
Koronadal City (28 February) -- The best way to solve the conflict between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is not by war but through negotiations.
This was emphasized by Prof. Aboud Syed Lingga, executive director of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies who presented the MILF's position during the "Dialogue Mindanaw" conducted by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) yesterday (Feb. 27) at the Notre Dame of Marbel University here.
Prof. Lingga's speech served as one of the highlights of the Reflective Dialogue attended by 240 registered participants from different groups such as youth, women, military, police academe, farmers, local government units, business, non-government organizations, media, Christians, Lumads and Muslims.
The participants could easily exceed 300 if walk-in registrants were included, according to OPAPP.
"Dialogue Mindanaw" is aimed at getting the pulse of the people regarding the ongoing peace negotiations between the government and MILF.
"The conflict is sovereignty based and not a religious conflict and that the best approach to this is through negotiations and like the government, this is what the MILF believes," Lingga said.
Lingga also called on the people, especially the Mindanaoans, to support the negotiations because "I fear that negotiating fatigue could occur between the two camps".
For his part, Dr. Ronald Adamat, who represented the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, reported on the status of the talks since its resumption last Dec. 8-9, 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Adamat said the engagement of the international monitoring team (IMT) has been renewed and it will arrive tomorrow in Cotabato and will be deployed to MILF areas.
"Both parties agreed to meet again on March 4 and 5 for the question and answer regarding the MILF's new draft," Adamat said.
On March 28-29, Adamat said MILF will ask the government about its draft.
"It's important that both sides learn what the other wants. Its an evolving draft because if we make it static, paano na ang mga consultations na gaya ng Dialogue Mindanaw," Adamat said.
Adamat also thanked the participants for joining the consultations, saying their opinions and views could greatly help the government's mission to attain lasting peace in the South.
OPAPP's Dialogue Mindanao resumes in Puerto Princesa, Palawan on March 3 and on March 6, simultaneous Reflective Dialogues will be held in Cagayan de Oro City and San Mateo, Rizal in Luzon.
OPAPP travels to Baguio City on March 7 while on March 9, "Dialogue Mindanaw" is slated to visit Bongao, Tawi-Tawi and Iligan City while Butuan City is next on March 11.
To make information about 'Dialogue Mindanaw' available to the public, OPAPP has put up an official website (http://www.mapayapangmindanao.info) aside from accounts in popular social networking sites such as Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/mapayapangmindanao) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/peacemindanao).
Comments on the Mindanao peace process can also be relayed through the following text lines: 0999-42-PEACE (73223) for Smart users and 0917-83-PEACE (73223) for Globe subscribers. (OPAPP) [top]