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PIA Press Release

Esperon optimistic on peace talks resumption

by RG Alama

Davao City (6 November) -- (Ret) General Hermogenes Esperon is optimistic that the stalled peace talks would resume between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

"I will not entertain thoughts that the MILF is not interested in the talks," Esperon, the current Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said. "They (MILF) are just interested in the peace talks as we are," he said.

The OPAPP head said that the Government is very interested in the dialogues of various peace stakeholders, which Esperon said the Government has taken the hands-off approach. "The results of the dialogue will determine how we move forward in the peace process," he said.

Esperon was in Davao last Nov. 5 for a Roundtable Discussions with various Mindanao Peace stakeholders on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) at the Marco Polo Davao. The discussions were graced by Dr. Robert Hannigan, who was invited as a resource speaker for the event owing to his experience as a British peace negotiator which forged a peace agreement with the Irish separatists in Northern Ireland during the late 1990s.

The Presidential Peace Adviser said that the country would gain important and much-needed insights on the peace process particularly on the Northern Ireland experience, although he said that peace process of each country is sui generis or a class of its own.

Meanwhile, Esperon is hoping for the renewal of the International Monitoring Team, saying that they need safety nets in holding the ceasefire in Mindanao. "They (IMT) have been very effective partners," he said. (PIA) [top]

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