RealNews

Peace Talks with MILF Pursued

The government is moving toward resuming peace talks with Muslim separatist rebels but troops will remain on alert for attacks, President Arroyo said yesterday. “We are now moving in a calibrated way toward peace talks” with the 12,500-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Mrs. Arroyo said. “We will continue to stabilize the situation on the ground, return the evacuees home and move toward substantive negotiations,” she said. Mrs. Arroyo, however, said “enforcement of the law in all places shall be undiminished.” Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye and chief government negotiator Eduardo Ermita said this is the position the government is taking in the peace efforts with the MILF. “The government position is non-negotiable. The MILF should deal with it if it wants the peace talks to continue,” Ermita said. Both Bunye and Ermita pointed out the issue of lifting the warrants of arrest for MILF chief Hashim Salamat and other senior rebel leaders is for the courts to decide. Full Story

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