Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Malaysian PM agrees on Mindanao dialogue

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Friday agreed that the negotiations between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front should be anchored on “multi-sectoral acceptance.”

Abdullah voiced this sentiment during a meeting with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the sidelines of the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting here, the Filipino President’s spokesman said.

“Prime Minister [Abdullah] agreed that dialogue must be held so that a multi-sectoral acceptance of any moving forward later on (in the peace talks) will be there,” Press Secretary Jesus Dureza told reporters after the meeting.

Malaysia has been mediating peace talks between the Philippine government and the MILF.

The lack of dialogue with other sectors contributed to the collapse of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain that was to have been signed between the government and the secessionist rebels.

Several Mindanao leaders asked the Supreme Court to dump the agreement on constitutional grounds and because of the government negotiators’ apparent failure to sufficiently consult stakeholders over the proposed creation of a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity.

In the meeting, Dureza said Arroyo briefed Abdullah on the status of the peace talks with the MILF, which were shelved because of the Moro rebels’ attacks in North Cotobato and Lanao del Norte after the Supreme Court stopped the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.

Arroyo was joined in the meeting at the Kerry Center Hotel by Presidential Peace Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.

“She personally relayed to him the status he knows already, about where we are in the peace process, the dialogues that we are conducting,” he said. “She assured everybody that the continuation of the peace process was still a high priority.”

In turn, he said Abdullah told Arroyo that he would continue supporting the Philippine government’s effort to end, through peaceful means, the decades-old Moro insurgency in Mindanao.

“The President thanked him for all the support in the peace process,” Esperon said.

The cordiality between the two leaders did not appear to have been diminished by a proposal for Malaysia to stay out of the Mindanao peace process.

Senator Rodolfo Biazon was pushing for another third party such as Indonesia, saying the Malaysian participation involved “conflicts of interest.”

He said allowing Malaysia to continue mediating between the government and the MILF would compromise the Philippines’ claim over Sabah and parts of the disputed Spratly group of islands.(By Christian V. Esguerra;INQ.net)

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