DESPITE FIERCE BATTLES, GOVT OFFERS MILF PEACE PACT  

Manila, Feb. 19, 2003 -- While the military and Muslim rebels are battling it out in Mindanao, President Gloria Arroyo has approved the final draft of the government's peace agreement with the seccessionist rebel group, said a top government peace negotiator.

Government peace panel chair Eduardo Dureza said the government peace panel will be presenting the final peace draft to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) once the peace talks begin again.

While Dureza refused to elaborate on the details of the said draft agreement, he mentioned several provisions relating to increased socio-economic activities in Mindanao as well as the development of its culture and values.

He added that the role of the MILF in the political governance of Mindanao is also detailed in the proposal.

The chief government negotiator expressed confidence that the MILF group will accept the peace draft.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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