Govt, MILF panels head for peace
ALABEL, Sarangani (28 September) -- The government, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and International Monitoring Team (IMT) have expressed confidence that the peace process would continue and was headed for a peace agreement.
Chairs of the Government and MILF ceasefire committees (Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities or CCCH) and the IMT called on Governor Migs Dominguez yesterday to assure that the ceasefire agreement was holding.
The governor pointed out that "confidence has no price." He cited as example the recent turnover of a wanted person by a local MILF commander to police authorities here.
He said barangay captains, town mayors and other local leaders have a key role to play in maintaining security and in keeping "open communications which result to peace in our area."
Dominguez said negotiations started from the ground level and with the IMT "standing in the middle" would rake success "all the way to the top."
"We would like the people to know that the ceasefire agreement is still holding up to this moment," said Brig. Gen. Edgardo Gurrea, the government peace panel's ceasefire committee chief.
Von Al Haq, chair of the MILF ceasefire committee, was also optimistic the "peace venture will succeed" so that "development advance because that is the bottom line."
"We are looking forward to a strong partnership with your administration in our joint effort to promote peace in this part of the region," Al Haq told Governor Dominguez.
"The number of incident (between government troops and MILF) in this province is zero," said Maj. Gen. Dato MD Ismail Bin Ahmad Khan, IMT head of mission.
"We hope other provinces will follow suit and eventually we will have the whole of Mindanao. We are very hopeful that the peace process will continue and (come up with) the peace agreement this time," he added.
The Malaysian general said the IMT was "now working very hard" with all the agencies and "we look forward for the province of Sarangani to continue the support."
First deployed in October 4, 2004, the IMT has established a stabilizing presence in Mindanao and provided a more conducive environment to the ongoing peace talks. (Sarangani IO/PIA 12) [top]