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AFP rejects MILF warning on outbreak of violence

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 09:48:00 06/09/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has dismissed a warning by Moro rebels that violence would erupt in Mindanao if the mandate of international ceasefire monitors, which expires in September, would not be renewed.

Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Torres Jr., AFP spokesman, said that the military “remained hopeful that violence would not erupt and a lasting peace would still be attainable with the able and sincere representation of the GRP [Government of the Republic of the Philippines] and the MILF [Moro Islamic Liberation Front] in the peace negotiation,”

At the same time, however, Torres said that “as expected of soldiers, we always maintain a high state of readiness, capable of responding to any hostile eventualities in order to preserve a secure environment.”

On Friday, Moro Islamic Libreation Front chief peace negotiator Mohager Iqbal warned that “violence” would erupt unless the tour of duty of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) was extended.

Before the expiration of the IMT’s mandate, Malaysia pulled out its contingent to the ceasefire monitoring body. Malaysia is also the third-party negotiator in the peace talks.

Negotiations have been deadlocked on the ancestral domain issue.

Although several consensus points were reached during the last round in February, at least three issues remained unresolved, and were being studied by a Palace legal team.

Also on Friday, the chief government peace negotiator, Rodolfo Garcia, said the legal team would act on the rebels’ counterproposal and move to resume formal negotiations before the term of the IMT ends on September 9.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

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Written by joelguinto

MonUTC2008-06-09T06:22:16+00:00UTC06bUTCMon, 09 Jun 2008 06:22:16 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am06

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