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.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Malaysia assures support to GRP-MILF peace talks

Malaysia has assured the Philippine government of its continued support to the efforts to forge a final peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In a press briefing with reporters covering the Asean summit in Thailand, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said the assurance came from no less than Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself.

Gonzales said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo asked Badawi during their bilateral meeting to do something so that the negotiating panels of the Philippine government and the MILF would meet again soon.

“Hiniling lang naman ng Pangulo ang patuloy na pagtulong ng Malaysia sa atin sa peace talks at gusto ng Presidente natin na magsimula na uli ang pag-uusap kaya hiniling ng Presidente sa Malaysia na kung puwede, gumawa na ng mga hakbang para muling magkita ang dalawang panel,” he said.

[“President Arroyo asked Malaysia to continue supporting the peace talks because our President wants the negotiations to resume. She asked Malaysia if it could do something to convince the two panels to meet again.”]

Gonzales said Badawi responded favorably to President Arroyo’s request.

“Badawi said Malaysia is always willing to help so they will help. They will try to facilitate (the resumption of peace talks). They will help in making sure the two panels will meet,” Gonzales said.

He added that no date was mentioned but “I'm assuming it will be as soon as possible.”

Aside from Gonzales, those who joined President Arroyo in the bilateral meeting were Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary and government chief negotiator Rafael Seguis.

Badawi, on the other hand, was accompanied by Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim and Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Tan Sri Ahmad Fuzi.(GMANews.TV)

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