Posted by: JWP | 01/16/2010

Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are against Moro Islamic liberation front demands

Peace with MILF unlikely before end of GMA term

By Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) Updated 01/16/2010

ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines — Local officials believe a peace agreement between the government and the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will not be signed before President Arroyo ends her term after most local government units in Mindanao opposed the proposed expanded autonomy in the region.

Government peace panel member Ronald Adamat said that during consultations with local government executives of Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi last Jan. 7, 8 and 11, the leaders contradicted the proposal of the MILF to expand the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“They are all against to join the proposed demands of the MILF and that was expected. But what was quite surprising is the leaders from Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are (also) against (it),” Adamat said.

Leaders of the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, which are part of the ARMM, said any agreement signed between the government and the MILF might supplant the 1996 peace agreement between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

Adamat said the leaders of other provinces in Mindanao will also be consulted.

City Mayor Celso Lobregat said the MILF retained its previous demands such as identity, governance, and control of national resources.

Local leaders who attended the recent consultations, however, said that in terms of control and distribution of natural resources, the MILF must be prevented from discriminating against non-Muslims.

“Take away that notion of Christian or Muslim dominated. In terms of control of natural resources, whatever you are willing to give to the MILF, make sure you are giving that to everyone,” Lobregat said.

He said that with the current situation, the peace agreement will not materialize before Arroyo’s term expires in June.

“The way it goes, I don’t think they will be able to achieve it (signed agreement). They are trying, they will try, but I don’t think it is a good idea because it will be one that will be forced,” Lobregat said.

He said that while the local leaders realize that the government panel’s objective is to have the peace agreement signed before Mrs. Arroyo’s term expires, the government must not impose a deadline to rush the agreement even if the peace talks have gone on for some time already.

“But that does not mean we have to come up with a half-baked deal. So this has to go on,” Lobregat said.

end of article

Just one more proof that the MILF does not enjoy the support of the rest of Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao.

Philippines confident to seal peace deal with Muslim rebels in 5 months ( 01/16/ 2010 (National government version of how things are going in the peace process. Appeasing the group that are in cahoots with Abu Sayyaf and kills women and children and burn down towns and kidnaps and beheads people! Thats not a rebel group, that’s a terrorist group)


Moro Islamic Liberation Front pushing for Mindanao self-rule 12/28/09

MILF OKs IMT probe on ‘rogue’ commanders 12/12/09

Irish priest identifies 2 Moro Islamic Liberation Front kidnappers 11/18/09

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