MALAYSIA will continue to act as facilitator at the resumption of peace talks in Mindanao.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo disclosed this Tuesday following the courtesy call
of Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato Sri Anifah Aman on President Benigno S. Aquino III in
Romulo said Malaysia has been playing a constructive and positive role to encourage a
peaceful resolution in the Mindanao problem.
The President welcomed Minister Anifah who was accompanied by Malaysian Ambassador
to the Philippines Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad.
Also present during the call were Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
Secretary Teresita Deles and DFA Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio.
Minister Anifah’s visit centered on Malaysia’s role in the formal peace negotiations scheduled
this month between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
As its closest neighbor in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the
Philippines earlier decided to retain Malaysia as third party facilitator in the resumption of the
GRP-MILF peace talks, a role which Malaysia has assumed since 2001.
Since 2004, Malaysia also led the International Monitoring Team together with Libya, Japan
and Brunei which successfully contributed to the comprehensive peace process in Mindanao.
Malaysia remains the third party facilitator at the resumption of peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) after the Holy Feast of Ramadan on Sept. 9.
In a news briefing in Malacanang, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the stalled peace talks with the MILF will definitely resume after the Ramadan as announced by President Benigno S. Aquino III in his State of the Nation Address last July.
“What we have right now and what we have been informed is that Malaysia is still the third party negotiator,” Lacierda said.
Concerned government officials he said, have been given a briefing on the peace process last week.
The President, according to him, has expressed determination to put an end to the decades-old conflict in southern Philippines and finally achieve a long-lasting peace for Muslim-Filipinos.
Peace talks between the Philippine Government and the MILF were stalled since August 2008 following the aborted signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD). (PCOO/PIA)
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has gave out over P7.5-M of assistance to some 9,288 Filipino deportees from Sabah, Malaysia from January to September, this year.
According to the DSWD, of the total number of deportees, 3,069 (33.04%) came from Tawi-Tawi; 2,211 (23%) from Sulu; 1,465 (15.77%) from Basilan; 1,587 (17.09%) from Zamboanga City, and the rest from other parts of Mindanao.
As of today, forty-one (41) deportees, of which two are minors, are still at the Processing Centers waiting for their scheduled trip to their home provinces.
The deportees are either victims of illegal recruitment or having expired passports.
Other assistance included; temporary shelters, free food, clothing, psycho-social services, medical assistance, literacy/awareness sessions, livelihood skills training and referral to LGUs and other agencies for support services. (PIA/Bohol)