MILF PLAYS HARD-TO-GET ON PEACE TALKS
Zamboanga City, Jan. 18, 2003 (Tribune) - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is open to the one-draft agreement being proposed by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) peace panel for the resumption of the negotiations next month.
Rebel spokesman Eid Kabalu, however, maintained the secessionist movement's welcoming of the idea does not mean the MILF panel is already amenable to the GRP proposal.
"We are open to the idea. It will not be an automatic rejection or approval, we will follow a process. We have to look into the substance of the proposal," Kabalu said.
According to him, the MILF panel would subject the GRP proposal under assessment process once it reaches them.
The fourth round of the formal talks between the government and the MILF was originally scheduled Jan. 8 and 9 in Kuala Lumpur but the government failed to conform to the schedule.
The talks, centered on the ancestral domain aspect of the negotiations, were rescheduled in February also in Kuala Lumpur.
On Thursday, presidential adviser on peace process Eduardo Ermita, announced the GRP was thinking of adopting a one-draft accord with the MILF instead of point by point discussion.
The same tact of coming up with a single pact was adopted by the government in its peace negotiations with the communist National Democratic Front.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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