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.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Moro groups seek UN intervention

COTABATO CITY—Moro civil society organizations (CSOs) have asked the United Nations to take an active role in the peace negotiations between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should talks resume.

Both the government and the MILF have said they are willing to resume negotiations on certain conditions.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants the rebel group to surrender rogue commanders Ameril Ombra Kato and Abdullah Macapaar, alias Bravo, said to be responsible for the violence in North Cotabato, Sarangani and Lanao del Norte. The MILF wants the talks to center on the memorandum on agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD), which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.

“Toward our collective end of addressing the conflict in the Southern Philippines, we earnestly appeal to the Office of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for its continuing support to the civil society’s efforts at peace-building, conflict prevention and transformation,” said the letter, faxed on Oct. 23, to UN headquarters in New York.

The CSOs said the appeal was the result of consultations held in Davao City and General Santos City. They noted the military’s punitive actions against Kato and Bravo had displaced more than 600,000 people.

“It is on this premise and, above all, the suffering of the people in this part of the world that we are appealing to the Office of the UN Secretary General to effect, at the soonest possible time, the intervention of the UN Department of Political Affairs as the most valuable contribution of the international community to our people’s age-old aspiration for a peace settlement in the Southern Philippines,” said the letter, which was signed by representatives of some 50 CSOs.

Guiamel Alim, chair of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Organizations, said the people had the right to seek UN intervention under the international body’s mandate of partnership with civil societies in their common quest for world peace.

Alim said they would also welcome other peace-related undertakings by international agencies, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), European Union, Australian Aid, Local Governance Support Program in the ARMM under the Canadian International Development Agency, and the UN Act for Peace. (Nash B. Maulana, Inq.net)

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