MANILA — A Palace official on Thursday said President Benigno Aquino III’s faith on the members of the government’s peace panel remains.
”Naninindigan ang Pangulo hinggil sa kakayahan at integridad ng mga bumubuo ng ating peace panel—mula kay Secretary Teresita Deles at kay Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, bilang chairperson ng panel, at ang mga kasapi nito,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in a briefing.
(The President remains confident on the capacity and integrirty of the members of our peace panel –- from Secretary Teresita Deles and Proferssor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, who serves a sthe is the panel’s chairperson, and the other members of the panel.)
Coloma’s reaction was made after being asked for his thoughts on the call of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano for the President to change the members of the peace panel who are in talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
This after the lawmaker alleged that members of the government’s peace panel are giving in to the demands of the revolutionary Muslim group.
Cayetano also questioned the motives of the MILF citing that while it is in the middle of discussing peace with the govenrment it allegedly cuddled terrorists like Malaysian Zulkifli Bin Hir, known as Marwan, and Filipino Ahmad Akmad Batabol Usman, alias Basit Usman.
Marwan and Usman are wanted terrorists who were the targets of the police’s Special Action Force (SAF) in their operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015.
The said police operation is now the topic of several govenrment investigations for alleged operational lapses that lead to the death of 44 government troopers, who also died partly because of “misencounter” with members of the MILF.
Coloma stressed that since the start of the Aquino administration, the President has been firm on doing all the necessary actions to attain peace in Mindanao and this was only temporarily stopped after the Mamasapano incident.
”Patuloy na naninindigan si Pangulong Aquino na kailangang ipagpatuloy ‘yung pagdaloy ng prosesong pangkapayapaan dahil mahalaga ito sa pambansang interes ng Pilipinas,” he said.
(President Aquino remains firm on his bid to push for the continuation of the peace process since this is of national interest.)