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PIA Press Release

Piñol to talk to Hongkong OFWs on MOA-AD, peace process

by Rhoderick Beñez

Koronadal City (5 October) -- North Cotabato Vice Governor Manny Piñol will talk today to overseas Filipino workers in Hongkong about the controversial Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) and other key issues involving the Mindanao peace process.

Rizalina Balaque Acosta, president and founder of the Regional Overseas Filipino Workers Society (ROFILWS), said they believe Vice Gov. Piñol would be able to share to the OFW’s in Hongkong, especially those coming from Mindanao, valuable insights into the MOA-AD and how it would impact on the overall situation in Mindanao.

"We are aware of Vice Gov. Piñol’s reputation as a respected leader, and his presence during the ROFILWS second year anniversary celebration today to meet and talk to our members about these issues would be a great honor to the organization," Acosta said.

Vice Gov. Piñol meanwhile sees the invitation as an opportunity to share his advocacy for a new approach in the Mindanao peace process to Hongkong-based OFW’s from Mindanao.

Vice Gov. Piñol maintains that the peace process should not only involve the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front but instead be the product of a consensus among all stakeholders in the affected areas.

In recent talks with members of the government peace panel in Cebu City, an again at the Senate Defense Committee Hearing on the GRP-MILF peace talks in Zamboanga, Vice Gov. Piñol recommended a localized approach to the Mindanao problem as it had a different complexion in each of the affected areas.

"Since our problems are unique, the solutions should be localized – do not come up with one approach for all the areas. Allow local leaders to conduct local negotiations and propose local solutions so that at the end of the whole process, the agreement that we will forge will be an agreement that really reflects the problems encountered by our people in specific areas in Southern Philippines and not an agreement based on international experience," he said. (PIA 12) [top]

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