In its continuing effort to exercise transparency and inclusivity in the peace process, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) Peace Panel will embark on its second leg of consultations with local government units (LGUs) in western Mindanao on Monday regarding negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Headed by Marvic Leonen, the negotiating panel will consult local chief executives of Basilan on May 16 and Sulu on May 18. They will also be paying a courtesy call to Zamboanga Mayor Celso Lobregat and other city officials on May 17.
Joining Leonen are panel members Senen Bacani, Miriam Coronel Ferrer, Ramon Piang Sr., and panel consultant Hamid Barra.
The series of consultations aims to solicit the views and sentiments of stakeholders on the GPH-MILF peace talks, as well as raise their awareness and engage them in the peace process discourse.
The first leg of LGU consultations was with local government officials of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces on April 13 and 14.
To date, the government has conducted a total of 24 consultations with various sectors, such as the academe, indigenous peoples, government officials, civil society groups, media and the military.
Consultations with local officials in other provinces in Mindanao will likewise be held in the upcoming weeks.
The next round of GPH-MILF exploratory talks is scheduled on June 27 to 28 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia wherein agenda will primarily include the presentation of the government’s draft peace settlement with MILF to address the decades-old conflict. (PNA)