Press Release
December 3, 2008


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas has called for transparency in the new round of peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"Sana lang ay huwag nila tayong bulagain tulad ng ginawa nila sa MOA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain). Maaga pa lamang ay sabihan na nila tayo na ito na ang hugis ng usapan para alam natin ang nangyayari. (I hope this time the panels do not surprise us, similar to what they did with the MOA-AD. They should tell us early on the status of the talks so we would know what is happening)," he said.

Roxas said the new government panel headed by DFA Undersecretary Rafael Seguis should be wiser in negotiating with the MILF and make sure that the interests of Mindanaoans are taken into consideration.

He suggested that panel members set up parameters for the holding of consultations with residents of Mindanao as well as other parts of the country to ensure a comprehensive discussion of the people's needs and concerns.

"Magandang umpisa iyang pagbabago sa mga miyembro ng peace panel. Sana lang nga ay maging tama na ang proseso. Sana ay magkaroon ng malawakang consultation sa Mindanao at ganoon din sa buong Pilipinas kasi lahat naman tayo ay apektado kung anuman ang mangyari sa Mindanao . (The reconstitution of the peace panel is a good start. I hope this time the process will be correct, with consultations conducted in Mindanao and other parts of the country because all of us will be affected by whatever happens in Mindanao)," he said.

He cautioned both panels against repeating what the first round of peace negotiators did, which was to come up with a lopsided agreement which the Supreme Court has ruled to be unconstitutional.

"Kung uulitin muli ang nangyari noong pinirmahan ang MOA-AD, ito ay isang impeachable offense. (If panel members repeat the events that led to the signing of the MOA-AD, that will be an impeachable offense.) Clearly, this is a violation of the Constitution. Katangahan na lang kung uulitin pa nila ulit ang isang bagay na sinabi na ng Korte Suprema ay unconstitutional. (It will be stupid to repeat something that has been declared unconstitutional by the courts)," he said.

Roxas was among those who convinced the Supreme Court in separate petitions to junk the MOA-AD, which proposed the creation of a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (JBE).

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