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PIA Press Release
2006/10/04

Govít determined to break impasse in talks with MILF

Cagayan de Oro City (4 October) -- The government will pursue all means to break the impasse in the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) based on principled negotiations and affirmative action to resolve the "thorny" issue on ancestral domain.

Malacanang made this clear today in the wake of the deadlock which developed in the Malaysian-brokered peace talks between the government and the MILF in Kuala Lumpur last month.

"Our negotiating panel is quietly working on a position that will hopefully break the impasse and move the talks forward," Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said in a statement.

Bunye said the government appreciates the fact that both sides are working hard to find common ground. He also cited the role of Malaysia as a facilitator and host of the peace talks.

"We know that the international community is watching this process very closely and the people themselves are anticipating a path forward," he said.

Bunye expressed appreciation for the support of all stakeholders as he said "we are confident that Mindanao and the entire Philippines will have lasting peace they deserve."

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said the government is determined to break the deadlock to prevent an outbreak of violence.

"I know the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) wants peace for the Bangsamoro people in the south. It may not be easy but the President and the whole nation are determined to seek the path for peace," he said.

The deadlock came after the MILF demanded that 613 Muslim-dominated barangays in Mindanao become part of its ancestral domain without undergoing the prerequisite plebiscite or other Constitutional processes.

The government said it could not grant the demand without holding a plebiscite in the affected areas.

Bunye said earlier that the peace process has gone a long way and is supported by the capacity and will of both sides to resolve the impasse.

"Communication lines are open and the government is not on a war footing except in the fight against terrorists. Our negotiators remain focused in ironing out a consensus that is best for the interest of the people," he said. (OPS/PIA-10) [top]

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