Gov't-MILF truce holding, Leonen says

Posted at 05/01/2012 10:24 PM | Updated as of 05/01/2012 10:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government's truce with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is holding, with no skirmishes reported this year, a peace negotiator said Tuesday.

Speaking to ANC, government chief negotiator Marvic Leonen underscored the importance of the ceasefire as peace talks with the rebels continue.

Leonen, however, added that soldiers are ready to enforce the law especially against kidnap for ransom groups, even in areas controlled by the MILF.

Both sides have agreed to the possiblity of replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with a new autonomous political entity.

Leonen said this will require public acceptance.

"When we talk about an autonomous political entity - a new autonomous political entity taking over the ARMM - at the very least, it will require an organic act which will require a referendum among the people," he said.

"At the end of the day, whatever final peace agreement we have should be enacted, legalized and of course should have the mandate of the people," he added. - ANC

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