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Breakthrough in MILF talks welcomed

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‘Big positive development’–DND chief

By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 14:45:00 07/18/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The breakthrough in peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is a “big positive development” for the security situation in Mindanao, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said Friday.

But Teodoro said troops in the south would remain on the alert against saboteurs who could “put a monkey wrench” on the negotiations, which was moving again after both panels finalized a draft agreement on the contentious ancestral domain issue.

“This is a big positive development for the security situation in Mindanao, although we are really on the alert for others who may want to sabotage the talks,” Teodoro said in a phone interview on Friday, adding he expects less skirmishes between government and rebel troops.

“Troops will remain on the alert because there are others who may wish to put a monkey wrench on the talks,” he added.

When asked who the potential saboteurs could be, Teodoro said: “We don’t know, but we have to assume that there may be some people.”

Before the breakthrough was struck last Wednesday, the military blamed the MILF for several attacks on its positions in Central Mindanao.

Military Chief General Alexander Yano alerted troops in the wake of the attacks, saying they should not be “sitting ducks” and should be ready to defend themselves and their communities.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2008-07-18T07:18:49+00:00UTC07bUTCFri, 18 Jul 2008 07:18:49 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am07

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