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Statement of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles on the Ongoing Peace Negotiations between the GPH and the MILF

Today, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel is now in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the 22nd formal exploratory talks. On the agenda are two very important issues.

First, the GPH panel seeks to clarify the status of Ustadz Amiril Umra Kato with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The government views the Kato issue with serious concern as it has a tremendous impact on the negotiations.

Second, the government will present, for the first time, the proposal for a peace accord to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The government proposal is based on the results of extensive consultations of the GPH panel with the different stakeholders in the Mindanao peace process. It takes into consideration the welfare of the people, the country and the Bangsamoro and most importantly, the overwhelming humanitarian needs of Filipinos caught in never-ending conflict.

In line with the President's mandate, the proposal is based on the principles of transparency, inclusivity, consent of the governed, cultural-historical acknowledgement and is within the bounds of the Philippine Constitution and our pertinent laws.

The GPH panel will not be signing a peace accord in Kuala Lumpur. It cannot and will not commit to a final agreement without the people's knowledge and support.

After this week's negotiations, the government will undertake further consultations with the different stakeholders before going back to the negotiating table to craft with the MILF a final peace accord that will be acceptable to all and will mean more productive lives, greater opportunities, and regional harmony for families in conflict areas and the people of Mindanao.

[Source: Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Manila, The Philippines, 22Aug16]

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Peace Negotiations in the Philippines
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