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Philippine religious leaders seek active role in peace talks

President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss with bishops on how they can assist in ending insurgencies

September 19, 2016

Religious leaders in the Philippines are seeking to be an active player in peace processes between the government and various rebel groups in the country.

"We are not involved in the peace talks but we are ready to accept an invitation," said Archbishop Fernando Capalla, head of the Bishops-Ulama Conference.

President Rodrigo Duterte was scheduled to meet with the group of bishops on Sept. 19 to discuss the possible role church leaders can play in the peace process.

In a press briefing on Sept. 16, Bishop Capalla said the religious leaders hope "to shift the meaning of dialogue where the bottom-line is friendship."

The prelate said the talks should "discuss anything under the sun because the only way to resolve human conflict is through respectful humane dialogue."

The Philippine government is currently negotiating peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines to end almost 50 decades of insurgency.

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