MILF shrugs off 'impasse' in peace talks

By Lerio Bompat and Lore Mae Andong, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at Dec 21 2012 03:41 PM | Updated as of Dec 21 2012 11:41 PM

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Friday clarified reports of an impasse in the 34th round of exploratory talks between the government and the MILF in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Monday.

MILF First Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar said it’s just normal for both parties negotiating to disagree on one's proposal and counter-proposal, adding that this should not worry the public.

"May mga nagsasabi na technical impasse pero normal ito sa isang negotiation," Jaafar said.

Although Jaafar has not met with the MILF peace panel members following the recent talks in Kuala Lumpur, Jaafar said the result of the peace talks should cause alarm.

He believes that the issues in the negotiating table will be resolved in the soonest possible time especially now that President Benigno Aquino has signed Executive Order 78 on the creation of the Transition Commission.

Jaafar added that this will be a boost to both parties.

Maguindanao Governor Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu also agrees that this will not last long and will be resolved by the peace panels.

Meantime, Mangudadatu expressed support for the creation of the transition commission.

He said he was asked by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process chairperson Ging Deles to recommend 2 persons from the province.

"Tumawag siya and I recommended 2, puro mga abugado, sila kasi ang dapat na talagang nasa pwesto dahil alam nila ang batas," Mangudadatu said.