'Peace process must remain within constitutional limits'
MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan welcomes the decision of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to review the 2001 ceasefire agreement.
Pangilinan points out that "gaps in the agreement must be addressed. While we are for peace, we must build a peace process that recognizes its limits under the Constitution."
He also reiterated his position against broad military efforts that could only endanger more lives in Mindanao.
"While we welcome the efforts of the Armed Forces to capture and bring to justice those responsible for the murderous rampage that led to the deaths of our men in uniform, we must reiterate our position that bombings and the capture of rebel camps do not necessarily lead to victory in the field," he said in a statement Saturday.
"We must win the peace. Military operations, war, and destruction will not achieve this."
Chief peace negotiator Teresita Quintos Deles said President Benigno Aquino III was still pushing through with the talks despite angry calls for an "all-out war" against the country's main Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
"We will pursue law enforcement (operations) against criminal elements but we will also continue the peace process. So we will separate that from the talks with the MILF.
"We really have to find a solution to the problem... where criminal elements sometimes mix with MILF forces on the ground," she added. -- With a report from Agence France-Presse