By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY (BicolToday.com/17-May-2012) – The intricacies of peace negotiations was again scrutinized by the third youngest member of the Philippine Senate, Chiz Escudero when he invited the local media for a tete-a-tete at their residence here.
The senator is critical of the way the peace process negotiators advised President Aquino and suggested that local chief executives must have a critical role in negotiating a workable solution that can be integrated in the national agenda for peace.
Escudero said that local chief executive must have a permanent seat in the negotiating table with insurgents and separatist groups for they know the situations on the ground rather let the likes of Secretary Ging Deles and Leonen do the talking.
He was irked by the fiasco of the two negotiators allowing President Aquino to meet Moro Islamic Liberation Front representative outside of Malacañan which he consider as sign of weakness. The wrong advice of the government peace panel put at risk the position of the government and the dolling out of cash to the separatist was a walk in a wrong lane.
The Senator who chairs the justice committee consider local chief executives as more knowledgeable than the negotiating panel in terms of feeling the pulse in the ground. They have the right information which can be analyze and applied if and when the government opted to negotiate locally.
He is proposing that a separate talks should be done with tribal leaders as in the case in Mindanao for loyalty of locals counts in the success of a peace formula. Citing the case of regional government in the south, the senator consider the involvement of the tribal elders and leaders more acceptable to the warring locals than manila peace representatives. [BicolToday.com]
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