New peace panel to be set up within July

THE administration is expected to complete its new peace panel that will negotiate with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) within the month, said presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Q. Deles.

She declined to identify the panel members since the process of selecting the candidates is ongoing.

The government, she said, would immediately communicate with the Malaysian peace process facilitator to schedule the first round of talks.

Before exiting, the Arroyo administration entered into a “continuing agreement” with the MILF through a six-point declaration that noted key issues such as the aspiration of Bangsamoro (Muslim nation) for self-rule, ancestral domain and political settlement.

Ms. Deles said the administration is reviewing agreements and the strategies of the past government in the talks.

In a statement, she said the administration is adopting a four-point strategy on solving insurgency: delivery of basic services, particularly education and health; economic reconstruction and sustainable development in Mindanao; strengthening of security sector reform, particularly in disbanding private armies; and good governance.

Ms. Deles said these strategies will also advance the peace process in the entire country. (PIA-Bohol)

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