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Home News Top Stories Government, MILF peace panels to hold exploratory talks

Government, MILF peace panels to hold exploratory talks

 

THE Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will meet today and tomorrow for their 21st formal exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process said on Tuesday.

Chairman Marvic Leonen of the Manila peace panel said that one important issue that the government will raise concerns MILF commander Ustadz Amiril Umra Kato, who allegedly broke away from the group and formed his own armed forces.

Earlier, former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari called on the government to stop talking with the MILF, which, he said, has disintegrated with most of its major leaders defecting to his group.


“The government should instead talk to us. Maybe they can talk to the MILF if our negotiations will fail,” Misuari told a recent exclusive roundtable with The Manila Times.

Leonen said that Manila wants to clarify some points in the MILF’s draft Comprehensive Compact, which contains the rebel front’s standing position on substantive issues.

He added that the issue of Kato is a “serious concern.”

The MILF said that it considers the issue as an internal problem and that they are exerting efforts to resolve it.

Leonen said that MILF has submitted its draft Comprehensive Compact during the February 9-10 talks.

He added that government panel accepted the document not as a working draft for the negotiations but a paper subject to clarifications.

His panel has been consulting various sectors “in an endeavor to be transparent and accountable to the proposals that we are giving on the negotiating table.”

Leonen said that they had also consulted local chief executives of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces in Mindanao on April 14 and 15, bringing to 21 the number of consultations that they had conducted there.

The MILF operates mainly in Mindanao in southern Philippines.

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