MILF continues to be partner of government in peace process – Palace

By , on February 21, 2015


President Benigno S. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak witness MILF Peace Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal, Malaysian facilitator Tengku Ghafar, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles affix their signature to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in a ceremony at the Kalayaan Grounds of the Malacañan Palace on Thursday (March 27). Also in photo are MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim,Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles,MILF Peace Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal,GPH Peace Panel chairperson Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato Abdul Ghafar (Photo by Ryan Lim/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)
President Benigno S. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak witness MILF Peace Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal, Malaysian facilitator Tengku Ghafar, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles affix their signature to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in a ceremony at the Kalayaan Grounds of the Malacañan Palace on Thursday (March 27). Also in photo are MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim,Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles,MILF Peace Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal,GPH Peace Panel chairperson Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato Abdul Ghafar (Photo by Ryan Lim/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)

MANILA – Amid different opinions and hatred arising from Mamasapano incident, Malacanang still sees Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as the government’s partner in achieving the lasting peace in Mindanao.

”It is understandable that citizens have taken a contrary view or may think less kindly of them (MILF). It is up to them on how to answer that. But at least they continue to be, if they want, to be partners of government when it comes to the peace process,” Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said Friday in a press briefing in Malacanang.

Valte said pursuing peace remains the main goal of the government to help bring the long overdue development for the people of Mindanao.

”At this point, we all want to be for peace because we know the costs of not having peace and just having war. So at this point, we will continue to stay the course, at least for this peace,” Valte said.

Despite the Mamasapano encounter between the Special Action Force (SAF) and the combined forces of the MILF and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), both the government and the MILF peace panel was able to sign the decommissioning part of the peace agreement.

”And again, for — some may think that it is difficult, but we will continue to stay the course, at least for peace,” Valte said.

Valte, however, said the GPH and the Office Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) are aware that there is already a delay in the timetable for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“The leadership of Congress has conveyed to us that they are not dropping the matter. They recognize that it is very — it’s an important piece of legislation,” she said.

The Palace official also said the government is ready once the Senate and the House of Representatives commence its deliberations on the BBL.

The two houses of Congress suspended the deliberations following the bloody Mamasapano that left 44 SAF commandos dead and 15 others wounded.