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Aquino asked to speak on meeting with MILF

Posted By: Chris Costuya On:


MANILA, August 8, 2011— President Benigno Aquino III Aquino’s meeting with Moro Islamic Liberation Front chair Al Haj Murad Ibrahim has raised more questions than answers from the Catholic bishops.

On Monday, the church officials called on Aquino to bare to the public the highlights of his furtive talks with the MILF in a hotel near the Narita airport in Tokyo, Japan last Thursday.

Philippine media were not informed of the said trip until an international news website released such report.

In the spirit of transparency, Bishop Pedro Arigo of Puerto Princesa and Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel said that the people are entitled to know what transpired during the meeting.

“We can trust President Aquino that he will not do anything prejudicial to Christians just to give to Muslims. But, it is also good to ask for transparency,” Arigo told Catholic Church-run Radio Veritas Monday.

Gutierrez also called for “vigilance” in light of the recent talks between the MILF and the Aquino administration reportedly aimed to end the decades-old conflict in Mindanao.

“Agreements should not be done in secret. The public should be told about it,” Gutierrez said.

In May, the MILF said that it was dropping its plan to seek secession. The group, however, said on Friday that it will continue on invoking its right to self-determination.

“We just have to be vigilant. Certainly all things will have to go through a referendum and here in our place we are ready for that,” he said.

For his part, Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma said that meeting between Aquino and Ibrahim is one step to advance the peace negotiations between the two parties.

The chairman of the Commission on Interreligious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, however, the talks and any agreement should be made public. [CBCPNews]

 


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