PHL peace panel headed to Malaysia to relaunch peace talks with MILF: Dureza

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Former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. proposes 11 federal states during the 'Federalizing the Philippines' forum: Former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. (right) stresses a point in his speech during the "Federalizing the Philippines" forum hosted by the Senate Economic Planning Office on Thursday (Aug. 4, 2016) at the Senate Building in Pasay City. He proposes to create 11 states with Metro Manila to remain the Federal State Capital. Under his proposal, Luzon will have four federal states composed of Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and Bicol. The Visayas will also have four federal states comprising Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas and Western Visayas and MiMaPaRom (Mindoro, Marinduque, Palawan and Romblon). Mindanao will be composed of three federal states: Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao and Federal State of Bangsamoro where, as Pimentel proposes, the Sharia law will be imposed on cases involving Muslims. (Pna photos by Avito C. Dalan)

Former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. proposes 11 federal states during the ‘Federalizing the Philippines’ forum: Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. (right) stresses a point in his speech during the “Federalizing the Philippines” forum hosted by the Senate Economic Planning Office on Thursday (Aug. 4, 2016) at the Senate Building in Pasay City. He proposes to create 11 states with Metro Manila to remain the Federal State Capital. Under his proposal, Luzon will have four federal states composed of Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and Bicol. The Visayas will also have four federal states comprising Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas and Western Visayas and MiMaPaRom (Mindoro, Marinduque, Palawan and Romblon). Mindanao will be composed of three federal states: Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao and Federal State of Bangsamoro where, as Pimentel proposes, the Sharia law will be imposed on cases involving Muslims. (Pna photos by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine peace panel to head to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia within the next two weeks to relaunch peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said on Tuesday.

Dureza said the President discussed this with him on Monday.

“He has already directed our government panel, my office, to already go to Kuala Lumpur within the next two weeks para we can relaunch again already the peace engagement with the MILF and the Bangsamoro,” he said.

“We’re preparing already for that particular trip. We still have to make a lot of preparations along that line. But yes, hindi lang ‘yung CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) ang aasikasuhin natin. We’ll work on another very important meeting in KL with government and the Bangsamoro sector,” he added.

On Monday, Duterte said he would be spending 10 days in Mindanao to focus on building the framework for the Bangsamoro peace process, including the MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

“I have to fix the Mindanao issue. Tingnan ko ang framework, etc. I have to travel to Cotabato to talk again to hurry up and I will travel to Jolo to talk to (MNLF founding chairman) Nur [Misuari],” the President said.

“Sabi ko sa mga military, pati sa mga pulis, you might want to consider just for a day makalabas lang sila,” Duterte added.

He reiterated that he is willing to give Misuari a safe conduct pass for the talks.

“When you talk to the rebel, you have to give them a safe conduct pass, or at least a sense of security to face you and talk to you about what’s bugging the country,” he said.

“Kapag hindi ko nakausap, how do I fix this thing? … Once the talk starts, I will give everybody a safe conduct pass,” he added.

The President, however, did not give a concrete date on when he will fly to Mindanao for the tasks but he hinted it may be within the week.

Duterte had also urged the 17th Congress to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) without the provisions deemed to violate the Constitution.

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), he said the passage of the controversial bill — coupled with the government’s shift to federalism — is “the only way to proceed” with the bid to solve the conflict in Mindanao. (

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