Press Release
September 25, 2008

'Gov't showing bad faith by asking UN
to declare MILF leaders terrorists'--Kiko

Senate Majority Leader and peace advocate Kiko Pangilinan today questioned the government's request for the United Nations (UN) to declare Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commanders Ameril Ombra Kato, Abdullah Macapaar alias Bravo, and Aleem Sulaiman Pangalia terrorists.

"Will it solve anything? It is a show of bad faith. How can we find a permanent solution to this problem if we continue to attack Muslim secessionists from all fronts? I stand by my call for a ceasefire to make way for peace talks. Huwag na nating palalain ang problema. Pati ba naman UN aabalahin pa natin sa usaping ito?" emphasized Kiko.

The Senator has incessantly pushed for an end to hostilities in Mindanao since conflict erupted in August. Separatist groups like the MILF have been fighting for autonomy in Muslim Mindanao since the time of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Warfare again resumed in the area after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order preventing the government from granting independence in the region with the MILF taking leadership.

"Every President since Marcos has faced this kind of problem. So far, we have not found a solution. If we keep insisting on armed conflict, we are continuing the vicious cycle of violence. Is this the kind of culture we want our children to inherit? Let's give peace a chance this time. The government and the MILF should stop attacking each other. Kung kailangang magsimula ulit sa umpisa ang pag-uusap, gawin natin 'yun. Dapat tanggalin na natin sa mga posibleng solusyon ang karahasan. Huwag nating ubusin ang panahon sa pag-iipon ng galit kung kaya naman nating magkaintindihan," Kiko strongly suggested.

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