GPH panel consults Tawi-Tawi local officials PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 14:23

Following their second leg of consultations with the local government units (LGUs) of Basilan, Zamboanga City and Sulu, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) negotiating panel said it consulted the local officials of Tawi-Tawi about the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Held at the provincial capitol, the dialogue was led by panel chair Marvic Leonen, who was accompanied by panel members Senen Bacani and Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and consultant Hamid Barra.

They were joined by Tawi-Tawi Governor Sadikul A. Sahali, Vice Governor Ruby M. Sahali, Brig. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, chair of the government Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH); Maj. Carlos Sol, head of the CCCH secretariat; and senior military adviser Brig. Gen. Restituto Aguilar.

Tawi-Tawi, along with Basilan and Sulu, is part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which is included in the MILF’s proposed sub-state.
The Moro group has been pushing for a “Bangsamoro sub-state,” which is an expanded territory including the ARMM provinces, while still recognizing one republic.
In his opening statement, Leonen told some 20 mayors, vice mayors and other local chief executives from different municipalities in Tawi-Tawi that, “We (GPH panel) are here to give you updates on the GPH-MILF peace process, as well as listen to your concerns.”

For his part, Sahali, in his opening remarks, responded, “We are deeply honored and esteemed by your presence in Tawi-Tawi to hold a consultation in order to get the views of local officials on how to work for a just and lasting peace in Mindanao and in the whole country.”

The governor highly commended the “initiative of the peace panel” for exercising transparency and inclusivity in the process.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to participate in the peace process,” he said.