NEGOTIATORS of both the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) must be problem solvers rather than trouble makers, President Benigno Aquino said echoing the statements made by MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.
“Hopefully, if I can get everybody’s attention to the statement that chairman Murad said himself, iyong negotiating panel have to be focused, that they are problem solvers rather than antagonists. And I am very hopeful that, that is indicative that there is an intense desire to achieve a just and comprehensive peace agreement,” the President said referring to Murad’s statements.
The President’s meeting with the MILF leader as well as other high ranking officials of the rebel group last week in Japan was aimed at showing the government’s sincerity in pursuing the ongoing peace talks and at the same time fast track the negotiations.
Malacanang assured this week that it would consider the views of all stakeholders in the peace talks with the MILF before both panels meet on August 22 to 24.
According to Secretary Teresita Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the government panel will continue to work with different constituencies in preparation for the said meeting.
In a media briefing last week, government chief negotiator Marvic Leonen said both sides were expected to discuss the significant agenda in the upcoming formal talks this month.
At the same time, Leonen said there was no “secret deal” forged between the government and the MILF during the Japan meeting adding that the Aquino government will not commit the same mistakes made by the past administration. (PCOO)