Monday, December 29, 2008

MIndanao Peace Talks Bound to Fail Again!

There are current reports indicating a breakthrough in the peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The top leadership of the Bangsamoro people reportedly agreed to negotiate peace with the re-constituted peace panel of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. Tha could be good news for some. However, upon closer analysis, this is highly improbable given the fact that the Central Committee of the MILF already took a position contrary to what government right now is announcing to the entire world.

Right after that controversial Supreme Court decision invalidating the Memorandum of Agreement-BJE, the MILF Central Committee already decided not to go back to the negotiating table if this is to be chaired by appointments of Arroyo. Philippine president Arroyo has just reconstituted the panel to be headed by Foreign Undersecretary Rafael Seguis and includes lawyer Tomas Cabili Jr., Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, former General Santos City Mayor Adelbert Antonino, and former legislator Ronald Adamat.

Note that the reconstituted panel includes people who really don't know the status of years of negotiations with the MILF and has even taken a contrari stand on the issue of the Bangsamoro juridical entity. The MILF already said that it will not return to talking peace if the GRP just wants to reconfigure the conditions and terms of reference of the MOA-BJE. It will only talk peace under the conditions pre-set by those stated in the original MOA-BJE.

Notice also that those who compose this government panel stands to debate more with the MILF leadership instead of going to constructive dialogue. Again, this peace talks, if ever it resumes, is designed to fail.

The reason why GRP is just doing this now and announcing the willingness kuno of the MILF to talk peace is very simple---Arroyo wants to project a good image before leaders of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) who will hold their conference here at the Dusit Hotel on January 9. 2009. Government wants to project an image that it is protecting the civil, economic, political and religious rights of the Bangsamoro when the contrary is happening.