November 4, 2011
As peace talks resume today in Kuala Lumpur, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urges the GPH and MILF Peace Panel to discuss extensively various issues in the peace negotiations that have been left unresolved to prevent the escalation of violence between government and MILF forces. These include: areas of temporary stay, lost commands and efforts to bring them to justice, and the issue of the alleged complicity between the MILF and rogue elements.
“We have already lost countless lives to decades of violence. To help us move forward and ensure that these deaths are not in vain, we must ensure that the next stage of the peace process addresses the gaps and loose ends in the negotiations. We also need to be clear about our expectations and manage the outcomes of the process,” Pangilinan says.
“We owe this to our country whose people have been divided because of the senseless killings.”
Pangilinan, who has been a vocal supporter of the peace process, emphasizes the costs of war and the need to achieve peace in order to achieve progress.
“Four decades of war has cost us at least a hundred billion pesos, and the atrocities made to our people have been unspeakable. We need to end this war within this generation for our country to finally take off, but the framework has to be clear and the loopholes must be addressed for the peace process to move forward. We urge both sides of the panel to be clear about the terms of the peace process and for them to abide by these terms. We also urge that those who will disregard these terms be held accountable under the full force of the law.”