MILF welcomes peace talks but wary of ‘little details’

THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) welcomes the intention of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to resume peace talks, but is wary that “little details” may yet derail the peace process.

“We cannot question (his) intention (but the) devils in negotiations is in the details,” said MILF peace panel member, lawyer Lanang Ali, in an article on the MILF website.

“Sometimes, words are used to conceal what is in the hearts of men,” Ali said, but added Aquino enjoys a relatively high trust rating among the Moros of Mindanao at this time.

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino said peace and tranquility can be achieved if “those affected will talk with one another— the Moro, Lumad, Christians.” Aquino said peace negotiations with the MILF can resume after the Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting which begins on August 11 this year and ends on September 9.

However, Datu Antonio Kinoc, an alternate member of the MILF peace panel representing the indigenous tribes of Mindanao, said the SONA was “very soft and merely repeated the old cliché that in order to solve the problem, ‘people-to-people’ talking to each other is encouraged.”

He said the problem in Mindanao is rooted in sovereignty issues and the conflict requires sincere, hard, and objective solution. “More importantly, political will is the key to solving this conflict,” Kinoc said. (PIA-Bohol)

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