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The Wrong Assumptions in the GRP-MILF Negotiations

By Jamil Matalam, MA
Ateneo de Davao University

The peace talks concerning the insurgency problem in Mindanao always had the character of a negotiation. It is a matter of offer on the one side, a counter-offer on the other, and then impasse and then armed encounters. This has always been its character and will always be because the parties to the negotiations have their own non-negotiable matters to bring into the negotiations, those that cannot be compromised. No doubt it is doomed to failure, if the goal is peace; for peace, and the current events surrounding the issue tells us so, is not a matter of negotiations. Peace is about the truth and is real; it is not a matter of compromise or simply a result of agreement. Peace is not a matter of give and take but the truth.