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PIA Press Release

Presidential adviser on peace process optimistic GRP-MILF peace talks to resume very soon

Kidapawan City (13 February) -- Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Retired General Avelino Razon expressed optimism that the stalled peace negotiation between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will resume "very soon."

Razon accompanied President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to her visit to this City today to lead in the dialogue with the peace stakeholders in North Cotabato.

"I am very optimistic the two panels will resume negotiations very soon as this is the President's aspiration," Razon said.

He said that the government panel chaired by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis is ready to sit down with the MILF and is only waiting for the response of the MILF leadership.

Razon said Seguis flew to Malaysia to request Malaysia, a facilitator on the peace talks, to inform the MILF leadership of the government panel's "desire to sit down again on the negotiating table."

Peace negotiation was stalled last August 18 when rogue MILF elements attacked civilian communities in Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato and Sarangani in protest over the aborted signing of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) which was later declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Razon stressed that the government panel will work within the President's new paradigm for peace in Mindanao which includes authentic dialogue with communities, interfaith dialogue and the principles of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration or DDR.

"Talks must also be within the parameters of the constitution. No talks on separation and must include concerns of the peace stakeholders," he said. (PIA) [top]

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