Muslim groups, IPs back GRP-MILF peace talks PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 June 2012 15:43

The government’s peace initiatives with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) received a big boost when the indigenous peoples (IPs) and Muslim groups in Mindanao threw their all-out support behind the ongoing peace talks to find a genuine and lasting solution to end the long-drawn armed conflict in southern Philippines.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said on Saturday the two groups manifested their support at the just concluded lst National Muslims and Indigenous People’s Cooperative Summit 2012 held in Davao City.

The peace panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF had just completed their 28th exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur where they discussed substantive issues, particularly wealth and power sharing.

The participants highlighted peace-related issues as among their concerns which they said can be resolved through the peace negotiations between the government and MILF.

During the discussion, Muslim and IP delegates cited the importance of resolving the decades-old armed conflict in southern Philippines as this will help improve their cooperative efforts and usher in development in Mindanao.

The Cooperative Summit aimed to enable the Muslim and IP cooperatives to be positive forces in bringing economic stimulus in their specific areas and thereby strengthen the dividend for peace.

OPAPP said the Davao summit was held in coordination with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) with the theme “Kooperatibang Katutubo: Kaagapay sa Pagsulong sa Matuwid na Daan” that centered on President Benigno S. Aquino III’s “straight path” policy.

At the same time, ARMM-CDA Administrator and Department of Agriculture Assistant Regional Secretary Pendatun Disimban stressed that Muslim and IP cooperatives must continue supporting the GPH-MILF negotiations as it will bring genuine peace and development in their areas.

“Let us join the administration’s quest for peace. Let us support the GPH-MILF peace negotiations that will truly help develop our cooperatives,” he said during his presentation entitled “Determining the Muslims and Indigenous Peoples Priorities for Improving Cooperative Management and Development.”

CDA Administrator Paisalin Tago thanked OPAPP for its support to the Muslim and IP cooperatives in the southOPAPP set up an information booth during the summit to enable the participants to give their inputs.

Among those who attended the summit were Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Secretary Mehol Sadain, ATINGKOOP Partylist Rep. Isidro Lico, CDA Chair Emmanuel Santiaguel, and CDA acting Executive Director Orlando Ravanera.

A workshop was held during the summit that identified issues and action plans in managing the cooperatives.