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Roxas won’t impede forthcoming peace deal in Mindanao – MILF

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12:23 PM September 6th, 2012

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By: Ryan Rosauro, September 6th, 2012 12:23 PM

Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

OZAMIZ CITY – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) believes that Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas will not be a thorn in the path of the projected peace agreement with the government.

In a statement issued in reaction to Roxas’ appointment, the MILF said Roxas – who now holds one of the most influential Cabinet positions – may have a different view of the peace process this time, unlike in 2008, during which, he proved to be one of the stumbling blocks to peace.

In 2008, Roxas was among those who petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain, which was forged by MILF and government negotiators.

The High Court sided with the petition and declared the MOA-AD – which would have given the MILF a larger area of control under an autonomous setup — as unconstitutional.

“Roxas could have a different view now of peacemaking in Mindanao especially that he is part of the Cabinet of President Benigno Aquino III, who has committed to finding political resolution to the Moro and communist insurgencies in the country,” the MILF said.

The rebel group said the final peace deal was now in sight and that “we believe no sensible person would oppose (it).”

Government and MILF negotiators have targeted the signing of a peace pact within this year.

“In fairness to him [Roxas], he is not a cheap leader or politician. He simply did not see the need for the MOA-AD’s signing, as others saw it,” the MILF added.

The rebel group said Roxas’ political ambitions in 2016 could also restrain him from “offending openly the Moros” by adopting positions that would have a negative impact on the peace process.

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