Harping on the “true sentiments and values” of stakeholders down to the grassroots, the northern Mindanao leg of “Dialogue Mindanaw” has drawn 200 participants expressing their full support to the ongoing peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Representatives from the women organizations, youth, academe, religious, and indigenous people from Misamis-Bukidnon area, the participants converged here over the weekend to share their views and express their aspirations for peace in the southern Philippines.

The reflective dialogue was organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in cooperation with Xavier University was held at the Grand Caprice Resto at the Limketkai Mall complex here.

Simultaneous gathering was held in San Mateo, Rizal province which was attended by 275 stakeholders coming from Metro Manila and southern Luzon.

Prof. Ronald Adamat, who spoke for the government, and Atty. Suharto Ambalodto, representing the MILF gave a background on the Mindanao problem and the ongoing peace process to resolve the issues involved.

A member of the government peace panel representing the Teduray tribe in Maguindanao province, Adamat spoke on the current move by the government for a lasting solution to the Mindanao armed conflict.

Adamat, who just arrived from Malaysia after the recent round of talks between the Philippine government and MILF peace panels, told “Dialogue Mindanaw” participants from the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, and Bukidnon that the series of reflective dialogues would be beneficial for them as “multi-sectoral stakeholders of the peace process.”

He said authentic consultations such as the reflective dialogue is the key for the success of the peace negotiations between the panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF.

“The GRP draft is a working draft, a work in progress … an evolving draft,” Adamat said of the ongoing progress in the peace talks in Kuala Lumpur.

Through “Dialogue Mindanaw” the government would “see to it that your true sentiments and values will be incorporated in the draft,” he said.

Adamat said the “inputs in our continued conduct of consultations with the stakeholders” such as the reflective dialogues would help the government peace panel “recognize the processes set forth in the Constitution.”

With these consultations, the “inputs and sentiments will be incorporated in our position in the government in order for us to be guided all throughout the negotiations of what the people want,” he said.

Citing the success of the series of dialogues in Jolo in Sulu, Zamboanga, Koronadal in South Cotabato, Bacolod in Negros, Rizal in Southern Luzon, and Baguio in the Cordillera region, Adamat said more participants are upbeat in the coming dialogues in Iligan City for the Lanao provinces and Butuan City for the Agusan provinces.

Calling the recent round of talks “a very promising one,” Adamat said he remains “optimistic that the best will come as far as the peace process in Mindanao is concerned.” (PNA)

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