Still more Filipinos support MILF peace talks – SWS

By , on May 6, 2015


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

MANILA – According to the results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, still more Filipinos prefer peaceful negotiations than military operations in dealing with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“Despite the recent drop in March 2015, the ratio of those who prefer peaceful negotiations to those who prefer military operations is 2 to 1,” SWS poll stated.

Despite the majority of the masses favoring peace talks, the overall number of those who held the said opinion declined from last year.

Based from the survey results, 45 percent of the 1,200 respondents nationwide believed peaceful negotiations were more effective; 20 percent asserted that military operations were more effective; and 35 percent were neutral, saying both peaceful negotiations and military operations were effective.

The said survey was conducted at the same time last year but showed better results. Of the 1,200 respondents, 62 percent preferred peaceful negotiations, 9 percent preferred military operations and 29 percent were neutral.

The recent SWS poll was conducted from March 20 to 23, two months after the Mamasapano incident wherein the Special Action Force (SAF) sought the capture of international terrorist Zulkifi bin Hir, alias “Marwan.” Marwan was killed but so were 44 of the SAF police commandos.

The said survey had been conducted yearly since 1999.  Of the 12 polls conducted so far, all have showed that more respondents believed that peaceful negotiations were most effective in dealing with the MILF.

On a different but related survey also conducted this year, the government’s ratings related on peace efforts fell. On defending the country’s territorial rights, only 22 percent was satisfied from the 40 percent last year.  On the reconciliation with Moro rebels, only 3 percent was satisfied from the 15 percent last year. And on the reconciliation with Communist rebels, only 3 percent was satisfied from the 17 percent last year.