6 years after the GRP-MILF peace talks resumed, “sail, sail”

This is an interesting review of the GRP – MILF peace process in the past six years.

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/24 March) — March 24 is exactly six years to the day
the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) agreed in Malaysia to
resume the peace talks after the Estrada administration’s “all-out war” in 2000.

One major war (in 2003) and several near-collapse-of-the-talks later (among
them in June-July 2006 and February 2007), MILF chair Mohagher Iqbal says the
peace process is “slowly yielding results but the end of it is still not in
sight.”

“But we move on, like Magellan telling his men, ‘sail, sail, sail. I hope the
GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) has the same attitude,”
Iqbal told MindaNews.

The “Agreement on the General Framework for the Resumption of Peace Talks”
was signed on March 24, 2001 in Kuala Lumpur by then Presidential Adviser on
the Peace Process Eduardo Ermita and Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, then MILF vice
chair for military affairs.

Ebrahim would be named MILF peace panel chair until he assumed the post of
MILF chair Salamat Hashim in late July 2003 after Hashim succumbed to a
lingering illness.

MILF information chief Iqbal took over the chairmanship of the peace panel.

The March 24, 2001 agreement was hailed a “breakthrough” especially with both
parties agreeing to resume the talks “immediately” after the signing of the
March 24, 2001 agreement “and continue the same from where it had stopped
before April 27, 2000 until they shall have reached a negotiated political
settlement of the Bangsamoro problem.”

The parties also agreed to “commit to honor, respect and implement all past
agreements signed by them” and to “negotiate with sincerity and mutual trust,
justice and freedom, and respect for the identity, culture and aspirations of
all peoples of Mindanao.”

The government and MILF formally opened the peace talks in 1997. It has since
spanned three administrations – Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo. The talks collapsed
in 2000 after then President Joseph Estrada waged an “all-out war” against the
MILF in March 2000.

For Father Roberto Layson, OMI, head othe Oblates of Mary Immaculate’s
Interr-Religious Dialogue and former parish priest of Pikit in North Cotabato,
the six-year talks is “really a fruit of labor.”

“Despite the hassles along he way, both (government and the MILF) have exerted
efforts to put the peace talks on track. We must try to preserve the gains and
work further more to bring it to a conclusion,” Layson told MindaNews.

For lawyer and historian Datu Michael Mastura, marking milestones, is “not a
Moro preoccupation” but “stages of their struggle to overcome obstacles count
more. What is significant is that the consensus points are fleshed out
incrementally and irreversibly.”

Historian Rudy Rodil, vice chair of the government peace panel, told
MindaNews the six years were “not wasted.”

“Preliminaries always take longer. Watch the last year. It will only be a
moment,” he said.

Rodil was also a member of the government peace panel that negotiated peace
with the Moro National Liberation Front from 1992 to 1996. (Carolyn O.
Arguillas/MindaNews)

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

One response to “6 years after the GRP-MILF peace talks resumed, “sail, sail””

  1. music downloads free says :

    Hi boys!2976bd4c13606b662854a6bb3410e337

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: