Bohol News Daily

UP Law dean to head GRP panel in talks with MILF

UP College of Law dean Marvic Leonen will be the government’s chief negotiator in the resumption of peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Malacanang announced Thursday.

President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, who is currently in Tuguegarao City to visit the wake of soldiers killed in action, said in a statement that he is committed to a consultative peace process so he has appointed Leonen — who he said understands the country’s history, different cultures, and aspirations — to head the government panel that will negotiate with the secessionist group.

Leonen, a constitutional expert who specializes in land issues, has taken part in convening a consortium of universities, many of which were from Mindanao, to examine the next phase of the peace process under the new administration.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said Leonen has “earned the respect of the peoples in Mindanao” because of his efforts to engage the academe and marginalized sectors and communities in resolving issues.

Leonen has worked on issues involving agrarian reform, access to justice, ancestral domain, health, environment, and international economic law. He said he will remain the dean of the UP College of Law despite his new role as the government’s chief negotiator with the MILF so UP can act as “a public service university.” (PIA-Bohol)