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    Posted January 22, 2014 by

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    Phl gov’t, rebels open peace talks in KL

    THE Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) opened the 43rd exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur in an effort to achieve a long lasting peace in war-torn Mindanao, the state-run Philippines News Agency (PNA) reported Wednesday.
    According to the PNA, the government peace panel headed by Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer is calling for larger doses of goodwill, determination and faith from both sides to achieve a successful peace process.
    “The time to conclude the formal exploratory talks is now,” the PNA quoted Coronel-Ferrer as saying in her opening statement at the resumption of the negotiation.
    Ferrer stressed that the government cannot afford to lose more time at the expense of the bigger task of implementation, and of the considerable progress it has already gained as the talk is now on its 43rd session to find a just and lasting solution to the long-drawn Mindanao conflict that had killed over 150,000 people, the wounding of tens of thousands and the destruction of billions of pesos over the years.
    The government is giving top priority to end the armed conflict in Southern Philippines before President Benigno Aquino III ends his six-year term on June 30, 2016.
    Ferrer said that based from experience “a successful peace process usually requires larger doses of goodwill, determination and faith,” adding that “these crucial elements, fortunately, are aplenty (as) they abound between and among the two parties and all the friends of this process.”

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