GRP-Business Forum On MILF MOA Pushes Through Today

August 18 may be a holiday but the Mindanao Business Council considers it a regular working day by sponsoring a whole day Dialogue between the business sector and the government of the Republic of the Philippines . The Dialogue will focus on the Memorandum of Agreement that would have been signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front just this month had the Supreme Court not issued a TRO.

The MOA which was based on the Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 between the MILF and the Philippine government has become controversial not only because of the Ancestral Domain Aspect but because it placed additional Mindanao territories under the MILF management sans consultation from the local government units concerned. The economic and political liberties that would have been given to the MILF as a result of the MOA has also stirred majority of the Filipinos since it would in effect create a separate republic.

Among those who will attended today's forum are Government of the Philippine Negotiating Panel-MILF(GPNP-MILF) chairman Secretary Rodolfo C. Garcia, National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, Undersecretary Nabil Tan, Office of the Presidential Assistant of the Peace Process or OPAPP lawyer Jose Lorena, Mindanao Economic Development Council Chair Virgilio Leyterana, North Cotabato Vice Governor Manny Pinol, Sultan Kudarat Vice Governor Donato Ligo as well as officials of other local governments in Mindanao.

The various business sector representatives from the Chambers of Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City, Kidapawan City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Cotabato City and Midsayap will also be present during the Dialogue. Also expected to be present are Department of Agriculture Director Roger Chiu, Department of Agriculture Director Ricardo Calderon, Department of Trade and Industry Director Marizon Loreto, and Department of Justice's Atty. Antonio Arellano.

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