Othman out of GRP-MILF peace talks

CAGAYAN  DE ORO CITY—The founding chairman of the non-government organization Islamic Movement for Electoral Reform and Good Government (IMERGG) yesterday disclosed that Malaysia will eventually replace Datuk Othman bin Abd’Razak as facilitator to bring the impasse in the peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Hadji Abdullah “Lax” Dalidig told this reporter that President Benigno Aquino III’s peace adviser, Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles, revealed to him that the Malaysian government had agreed to replace Othman, whom the government peace panel accused of being biased for the MILF.

The Aquino administration earlier requested Malaysia to replace Othman despite objection from the MILF, which also requested Malaysia to retain Othman as the facilitator of the peace talks.

“A very high government official told me that Malaysia will appoint another facilitator to move the peace negotiations forward. And I believe the MILF will eventually accept that because they also want the talks to succeed,” Dalidig said without revealing the name of his source.

Later, however, he admitted it was Deles who told him of Malaysia’s plan when he had the chance to talk with her a week ago.

Dalidig expressed hope that the new facilitator to be appointed by Malaysia will be acceptable to the government and the MILF so that the negotiations can proceed immediately.

He disclosed that the Bangsamoro nation is beginning to doubt the sincerity of the Aquino administration in achieving lasting peace in Mindanao through a political settlement to the MILF problem because both parties have not returned to the peace negotiating table despite the President’s promise to convene it right after the Ramadhan.

“President Aquino must show sincerity in achieving lasting peace by fast-tracking the peace negotiations,” he said.

The key issue that has bogged down the negotiations is Othman, who the government said is in favor of the Moro rebel group.

The MILF has been fighting the government for decades to establish a self-rule Muslim state in Mindanao.
Peace talks between the government and the MILF remain stalled since August 2008 following the aborted signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD).

Nevertheless, efforts are being undertaken by both sides to revive the talks.
A final peace deal will touch the issues of autonomy and the civil settlement of the rebel group’s some 11,800-strong fighters.  Albus D. Estabas

loading...

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply