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Filipino opinion over peace talks divided
Fingers crossed to see if rivals can end decades-old insurgencyCivil groups conduct local ‚Äėpeace talks‚Äô in Muslim and Christian communities in Mindanao
- Rick R. Flores, Davao City
- February 4, 2011
The talks, due to start in Malaysia on Feb. 9, have aroused significant debate and there is no shortage of opinion.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think a final peace agreement is attainable within President Aquino‚Äôs term,‚ÄĚ said Timothy Saldan, a local business analyst.
Wilfred Burton, a non-government organization worker, said peace issues with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have been disappointing and exhausting.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve hearing these issues since I was in high school and I‚Äôm tired of it. Can the MILF offer something? Can the government finally resolve this problem?‚ÄĚ Burton said.
Christine Sumog-oy, program officer of the Mindanao Peace-building Institute, said the Mindanao problem requires ‚Äúsincerity‚ÄĚ by the government and the rebels.
Filipinos must recognize the ‚Äúhistorical oppression done against the indigenous Moro inhabitants of Mindanao,‚ÄĚ she said.
‚ÄúThere is no way to put an end to this ongoing war unless you deal with the legitimate aspirations for self-determination in a peaceful manner,‚ÄĚ Sumog-oy told ucanews.com.
Ustadz Rahib Kudto, a Muslim peace advocate in Cotabato City, said people should not be allowed to derail peace efforts.
‚ÄúLet us not highlight the bad images of war. Let us never allow these ‚Äėpeace-blockers‚Äô to sneak in and deprive us of our rights to live in peace and harmony,‚ÄĚ Kudto said.
Clarisse Durano, a member of a Catholic students‚Äô organization, echoed Kudto‚Äôs call. She said Christians and Muslims ‚Äúneed to solidify unity and support the peace process because it will benefit all of us.‚ÄĚ
Ardan Sali, convener of the Bangsamoro Youth Leaders Forum, said a ‚Äújust and lasting peace is achievable under the present administration [of President Benigno Aquino] because he has raised the confidence of young Muslims.‚ÄĚ
Civilian groups to form ‚Äėpeace constituency‚Äô
Filipino Christian, Muslim women raise goats for unity, income
Hopes high for success of peace negotiations