MNLF leaders want GPH-MILF talks at faster pace

ASK GOVERNMENT TO NAME MISUARI AS OFFICER-IN-CHARGE OF MUSLIM AUTONOMOUS REGION

BY ROGER M. BALANZA

Leaders of the Moro National Liberation (MNLF) headed by Nur Misuari is looking up at the ongoing peace negotiation between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to bring lasting peace in Mindanao.
But they also want Misuari to be named as officer-in-charge of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), where the election for regional officials including the governor set next month has been postponed to 2013 to coincide with the national election.
The MNLF, the biggest Moro group that fought for the creation of a Bangsamoro homeland in Mindanao, inked a peace agreement with the Philippine government in 1996 that led to the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The MILF formed by an MNLF splinter group continued the fight to for full Mindanao autonomy.
The Philippine government and the MILF have inked another peace pact following  peace negotiations started in Malaysia last month.
In a peace rally at the Rizal Park in Davao City organized by the local office of the MNLF, leaders said they are hoping the peace negotiations would go at a faster pace.
Rolando Olamit, who introduced himself as the state chairman of the Bangsamoro Republic of the MNLF-Davao State Revolutionary Committee, said the Moro uprising remains unresolved even after 43 years. He was referring the years to the formation of the MNLF more than four decades ago by former University of the Philippines professor Misuari.
Olamit admits the Tripoli-brokered 1996 RP-MNLF peace agreement is a failure.
What government offered to resolve the conflict seems not to be working with many expressing disappointment on the ARMM, Olamit told the local media.
Olamit hoped the peace negotiations would achieve a real peace pact that would benefit all and address the roots of the conflicts in Mindanao.
In this way, he said Muslims would no longer rise in arms against the government.
Ganzon Yap, who introduced himself as the vice chair of the MNLF Military Affairs, urged the national government to designate Misuari as the officer-in-charge of the ARMM.
Misuari has the capacity to control the ARMM who can  address the problems and concerns of the people living there, he said.
Every Muslim in Mindanao listens to Misuari, said Yap. Misuari is the first governor of ARMM, appointed shorlty after the signing of the 1996 peace agreement.
Uztad Faizal Esmael, who says he is the national head of the heads the Dawah Defense Forces, also urged the government to speed up and finish the peace negotiatiion.

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