This is with reference to your news article “Another Malaysian Named New Facilitator in Peace Talks” written by Ms. Charmaine Deogracias which appeared on the Manila Times website on Thursday, 12 January 2017.
It is true that I as the chair of the GPH Implementing Panel and MILF Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal reaffirmed the participation of Malaysia as Third Party Facilitator in a letter dated 4 January 2017 addressed to the Director of the Malaysian Secretariat of the GPH-MILF Peace Process.
It is irresponsible reporting to leave out a crucial statement in the second paragraph of such letter reiterating that upon consultations with the Parties’ principals, the request for a new Facilitator supersedes the Parties’ prior acknowledgment of Tan Sri Zakaria Bin Abdul Hamid as Third Party Facilitator.
Ms. Deogracias could have easily validated the veracity of the content of the news article from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process as this involves the Bangsamoro Peace Process.
Reporting on peace processes like all other reporting must be based on facts. We therefore demand that you correct the inaccuracies in your news article. Tan Sri Zakaria Bin Abdul Hamid is not the new Malaysian Facilitator. The GPH and MILF Implementing Panels are still in the process of looking for the new Third Party Facilitator.
IRENE M. SANTIAGO
Chair, Government Implementing Panel for the GPH-MILF Peace Accord