Hataman lauds GPH-MILF resumption of peace talks PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 August 2013 13:39

Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Thursday lauded both the government and Moro peace panels for the resumption of peace talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia amid bombings in some parts of Mindanao and declaration of independence by Nur Misuari.

“As we in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao move forward to fulfill our mandate, we also would like to stress that we will extend our all-out support to the Mindanao peace agenda,” Hataman said in a statement.

“We have earlier condemned spate of bombings that took place in some parts of Mindanao and have denounced any other form of violence that could hamper the pursuance of lasting peace in this part of the country,” he added.

Bombings, two of them deadly, rocked major cities in Mindanao last month and this August, claiming the lives of at least 14 people and threatening the gains of the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Authorities blamed the extremist groups with ties to regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah for the spate of bombings in southern Philippines.

But Hataman said he was convinced the Aquino administration will not be affected by the bombings as far as the peace process is concerned.

“We are here because we put premium on peace. In fact, we made peace and security as one of our three pillars in pursuing the reform agenda in the regional bureaucracy,” Hataman said.

He also reiterated his earlier pronouncement that he and other ARMM officials will step down once a peace deal is reached.

“We made a covenant, that we will step down in case of a peace deal - and this will always be our standing principle,” Hataman said in a statement.

In an earlier statement, Hataman said the act of Nur Misuari, leader of a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front is being addressed by concerned government agencies, like the Philippine National Police.

Misuari who publicly resented the signing of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement, had reportedly declared independence of Mindanao, calling it Bangsamoro Republik.

Manila and MILF peace panels resumed talks Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, confident they could come up with measures that would complete a comprehensive agreement within the year.

Chief government negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, in her opening statement, said she is hopeful both sides could overcome the threats of peace spoilers.

“We know that the path we have painstakingly taken to get us to the second, third and then the final Annex is strewn with various types of landmines,” Ferrer stressed.

Ferrer added that no group should be allowed to derail the peace negotiations, noting the Moro renegade group - the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, was on rampage by attacking military installations and setting off bombs in civilian communities.