Press Release
August 5, 2011


Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan lauds President Benigno Aquino III for having met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chair Al Haj Murad Ibrahim and giving a clear signal that there is hope for peace in the Philippines.

Pangilinan issued this statement after it was revealed by Marvic Leonen, chair of the government peace panel, that the meeting took place in Tokyo, Japan, as agreed by both parties. According to reports, this was the first time for a Philippine president to meet with the chair of the MILF in 14 years.

"We welcome this move, as it is a clear signal by no less than the Commander in Chief that we are serious in our pursuit of peace," Pangilinan said. "It is an out-of-the box solution and shows that the President is willing to step out of his own comfort zone to ensure that peace be achieved."

"Our country has been beset by conflict for over four decades, and this meeting is a giant leap toward the peace that our nation needs in order to move forward."

Pangilinan, who had recently met with National Democratic Front (NDF) Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni and NDF Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison, expresses a similar hope for the peace negotiations between the government and the NDF.

"This meeting between the President and MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ibrahim has set a positive precedent that we hope will spill over to the NDF as well. Our countrymen are crying out for peace, and if we do things right we just might see it in our lifetimes, within this administration even."

"With peace comes the foundations for progress, and it is high time that development spreads to those areas that had once been torn by conflict. If we all work to achieve peace now, the multiplier effect will be felt for generations to come."

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