People’s Journal
August 9, 2011

SENATE President Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Francis Pangilinan see nothing wrong with the “secret meeting” in Japan between President Benigno Aquino III and Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Murad Ibrahim to advance the peace negotiations.

“I think we better just give the President enough leeway and presume good faith for the country because this is a very sensitive matter. It involves the national interests of the country,” Enrile said. 

The Senate chief, however, declined to elaborate. “I will not discuss the pros and cons of the meeting. If I were to be asked I would leave it to his wise discretion.”

Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate Committee on Social Justice and Rural Development, said the meeting with Murad was “bold and daring.”

“It shows that the President has guts, and it signals the willingness of this government to do things differently and to take on a new and fresh approach to peace. Yes, it entails risks, but exercising leadership requires this,” Pangilinan said. “Lest we forget, the President’s father, Ninoy Aquino, went to the hills in Central Luzon to convince then-communist rebel leader Luis Taruc to take the path of peace and give up armed struggle,” Pangilinan added.

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