MILF wants Malaysia to stay as a facilitator

THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) wants Malaysia to stay as foreign facilitator when peace talks between the group and the Philippine government (GRP) resumes at the end of Ramadan.

It was reported that the Aquino administration is eyeing Indonesia to replace Malaysia as foreign facilitator.

Mohagher Iqbal, MILF chief information officer and former chief negotiator, yesterday clarified that they are not against Indonesia as a replacement of Malaysia in the soon-to-resume peace talks.

“It’s not a question of opposing… The Malaysians are there already… and their facilitations were excellent. So why replace?” Iqbal asked.

The MILF official said that it would be better to retain Malaysia as the foreign facilitator in the peace process.

“Malaysia has institutional memory and we don’t see any reason why they should be replaced,” he said.

Iqbal said the problems being encountered by the peace process was not because of Malaysia, but “because the problem was here in the Philippines.”

He added that a change could pose serious problems.

“Gusto nilang palitan yung facilitator, facilitating country and the facilitator. Malamang na maging problema yan,” Iqbal said.

Iqbal also admitted that they have yet to former their own panel.

“The government is saying they are still forming their peace panel,” he said. “As soon as the government formed their panel, we can come out very shortly with our own.” Anthony Vargas

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