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MILF chief finds Mindanao job ‘big challenge’
By Manolo B. Jara February 27, 2013
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MANILA: A senior leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has described as a “big challenge” his appointment as the chairman of a 15-member panel mandated to craft a proposed law setting up a new Bangsamoro political entity in volatile Mindanao.

“It’s a big challenge, a big task ahead of us,” said Mohagher Iqbal, the MILF chief negotiator talking peace with the government, in a radio interview in Cotabato City.

But Iqbal expressed optimism that despite the big challenge ahead, the government and MILF panels would complete the process before March aimed at bringing a just and lasting peace to Mindanao.

On Monday, Secretary Edwin Lacierda, the presidential spokesman, announced that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino has appointed Iqbal as the chairman of the 15-member transition commission assigned to draft a proposed law establishing a new Bangsamoro political entity.

Of the 15 members, Lacierda disclosed the MILF recommended eight including Iqbal while the remaining seven came from the government as proposed by a committee headed by secretary Leila de Lima of the department of justice.

Their appointments also coincided with the resumption of talks on Monday between the government and MILF panels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which is brokering the negotiations.

The transition commission forms vital part of the historic framework agreement signed by the government and the MILF on Oct. 15.

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