Government to present a revised draft on ancestral domain

DAVAO CITY—President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the National Security Council has come up with a revised draft of the government’s position on ancestral domain to resume peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“Yesterday, the National Security Council had a meeting and the government came up with revised draft on ancestral domain,” Arroyo told a gathering of Lakas-Kampi party members at the Apo View Hotel here. “Soon we will present this to the MILF so that the peace negotiation can resume,” Arroyo said.

The Malaysia-brokered talks stalled last year over disagreements on the ancestral domain provisions. MILF leaders walked out of the negotiation table, saying that the government’s draft on ancestral domain was totally unacceptable to them.

Arroyo graced the signing of the declaration of merger between the Lakas-CMD and Kampi political parties and announced the administration nominees for the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) polls in August.

Incumbent ARMM governor Zaldy Ampatuan and vice governor Ansarrudin Adiong led the rest of the party nominees, mostly incumbent officials in the provinces of Sulu, TawiTawi, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Shariff Kabungsuan and Maguindanao.

Arroyo said the ARMM nominees led by Ampatuan pursue a “permanent peace” as part of the party platform and asked the nominees to help “convince the Moro rebels” to resume talks with the government.

“We hope our ARMM Governor, vice governor and all the rest of the party, can help the government convince the MILF that this is for the peace and development of Muslim Mindanao,” Arroyo said. “So, malaki ang inaasahan natin sa (we have great hopes from the) candidacy of ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan,” she said. “We hope that under your leadership, we can finally achieve peace and development in Mindanao,” Arroyo said. (Germelina Lacorte/

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