Govt peace panels for MILF, CPP talks in the works

THE government is now forming five-man peace panels for the impending resumption of negotiations with communist and Moro secessionist rebels, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita “Ging” Deles gave President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III Tuesday morning her recommendations for the heads of the panels that will negotiate with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Lacierda refused to give names until the two panels are formed.

Lacierda said the resumption of peace negotiations with the two groups is the Aquino administration’s “internal” solution to the problems in conflict-ridden and poverty-stricken Mindanao.

The NPA, the armed wing of the CPP, operates nationwide while the MILF has its forces mostly in Central Mindanao. (PIA-Bohol)

PGMA meets with U.S. Sec Rice on peace talks with MILF

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and discussed on the on going peace process in Mindanao.

According to Press Secretary Jesus Dureza, President Arroyo informed Sec. Rice that the Philippine government is prepared to go back to the negotiating table with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

This, however, as soon as positive results are gathered from the ongoing consultations with stakeholders and affected communities in Mindanao.

The President explained the new paradigm of her administration in pursuing the peace talks with the MILF based on more authentic consultations and not dictated by any armed group.

She also expressed gratitude for the continuing US assistance in the Mindanao peace process

Dureza was confident that the ongoing consultations with the stakeholders as mandated under the new paradigm might be completed very soon so that government can address the immediate needs of the displaced families and affected communities in the south. (PIA/Bohol)

Gov’t will negotiate with rebels only if they put down their guns- PGMA

“We are committed to the peace process but will not negotiate with a gun pointed at our heads.”

Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo stressed during her recent to the troops in Iligan city.

“We are committed to do everything possible to bring lasting peace to Mindanao and end 40 years of fighting that has killed more than 120,000 people,” she added.

However, she stressed that we will not negotiate with a gun pointed at our heads. Innocent civilians should not be terrorized for crass political gains.

“We can start the dialogue only when the area is secure and our people are safe because of your efforts,” the President said. (PIA/Bohol)