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Former negotiator discusses peace process with MILF



TRUST is an important factor in the peace process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),

Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said this yesterday during a forum at the University of the Philippines Cebu Campus’ Cultural Center.

“Trust is an element we can produce and something we do and what it is that we say,” Leonen said.

Leonen, who used to be the chief government peace negotiator, said the MILF decided to enter a pact with the state which they found to be trustworthy.

“President Benigno Aquino III espoused the word ‘Daang Matuwid’ and someone from the Ombudsman resigned, a chief justice was impeached, and several officials were removed on the grounds of corruption.

The MILF saw what ‘Daang Matuwid’ meant,” he told the audience composed of lawyers and judges as well as law students from different universities in Cebu.

The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro was signed by the government and the MILF signed in October 2012. The following month, Leonen was appointed associate justice of the High Court by President Aquino.

Disbarment case

Eli Pamatong, who described himself as an international lawyer, filed a disbarnment case against Leonen. Pamatong also lodged a petition with the SC seeking to stop the historic Bangsamoro Framework Agreement between the government and the MILF.

Leonen said the High Court eventually dismissed Amatong’s disbarnment case against him for lack of legal basis

Before he became associate justice of the SC, Leonen helped forge the deal between the government and the MILF.

“There is a need to understand where they (MILF) are at pesent and understand their past in their own narrative,” Leonen said.

Yesterday’s forum dwelt on “Understand the Anatomy of Political Conflict: Reflections on the Concept of Dispute Processing of Public Issues.”

The event was orgranized by the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter, and the UP Cebu Political Science Program.

Among those present were lawyer Democrito Barcenas, chairperson of FLAG in Central Visayas; Regional Trial Court Judges Meinrado Paredes and Macaundas Hadjirasul, Court of Appeals Associate Justice Gabriel Ingles, and IBP Cebu City chapter President Earl Bonachita./Ador Vincent S. Mayol


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Tags: Marvic Leonen , Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) , peace process , Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen




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