Imam invokes Allah in peace talks-A A +A
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
A THIRD party is needed to guide the peace negotiation between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said a Muslim preacher.
Bedijim Abdullah, an Imam (preacher) at the Philippine Military Academy, said the presence of Allah (God) as a third party in the discussion should be accepted by both parties in order to have a fruitful turn-out of the talks.
"Filipinos are a peace-loving people, although we have many differences but we have common ground where we meet and Allah will be lead us to a lasting peace," Abdullah said.
A historic meeting was held in a Tokyo, Japan last week between President Benigno Aquino III and MILF chair Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim, indicating the current administration's sincerity and commitment to achieve a negotiated political settlement to the Moro insurgency.
Joining Aquino were Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, and chief negotiator lawyer Marvic Leonen.
Murad, on the other hand, was accompanied by some members of the Central Committee, the MILF's negotiating panel and base commanders.
Both parties agreed to fast-track negotiations and implement agreements before the end of President Aquino's term in 2016. The next round of peace talks between government and the MILF is scheduled on August 22 to 24 in Malaysia. (Joseph Zambrano)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 09, 2011.