Oct 222014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/05/09MANILA1049.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA1049
2009-05-15 07:26
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO5125
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1049 1350726
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 150726Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4126
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS COLLECTIVE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 001049

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/15/2019
TAGS: PGOV PHUM RP
SUBJECT: ON A MISSION, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER SEEKS NEW MALAYSIAN PEACE NEGOTIATOR

REF: A. MANILA 1002 (DAVAO OFFICIALS DENY VIGILANTE
KILLINGS BUT HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
BLAMES MAYOR)
¶B. MANILA 985 (ICRC HOSTAGE: 100 DAYS AND COUNTING)
¶C. 08 MANILA 2717 (AMBASSADOR ENGAGES EXECUTIVE
SECRETARY ERMITA ON PEACE PROCESS)

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Larry L. Memmott,
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: In a private conversation with Ambassador May
11, Philippines National Security Agency Adviser Norberto
Gonzales revealed that he was traveling to Kuala Lumpur to
persuade Prime Minister Najib Razak to find a new chief
negotiator for peace talks between the Philippine government
and Muslim rebels in Mindanao. Ambassador emphasized that
there needed to be movement in negotiations and, if replacing
Othman was not palatable to the Malaysian side, suggested
that the parties consider creating a small panel of three
facilitators, to include more impartial and trustworthy
individuals. Gonzales envisioned increased military activity
on Jolo once the Red Cross hostage situation was resolved,
and said he was worried about the growing kidnap-for-ransom
phenomenon in Basilan. The Ambassador relayed her concern
over Davao’s vigilante killings, which Gonzales acknowledged
was a serious problem that could no longer be ignored. END
SUMMARY.

PHILIPPINES UNHAPPY WITH CHIEF MALAYSIAN NEGOTIATOR
——————————————— ——

¶2. (C) Ambassador had an impromptu, discreet discussion May
11 in the VIP lounge at Manila’s international airport with
Philippines National Security Agency (NSA) Adviser Norberto
Gonzales, who revealed he was traveling to Kuala Lumpur to
persuade Prime Minister Najib Razak to appoint a new chief
negotiator for peace talks between the Philippine government
and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Echoing
sentiments from other Philippine officials over the past few
months (ref C), Gonzales underscored the Philippine
government’s dissatisfaction with the performance of
Malaysian chief negotiator Datu Othman, who was perceived as
being partial to the MILF. Ambassador said there needed to
be forward movement in negotiations, and she urged Gonzales
to try to energize the Malaysians during his visit. If
replacing Othman was not palatable to the Malaysian side, the
Ambassador suggested, then the parties should consider
creating a panel of facilitators to work alongside Othman, to
include individuals that the Philippine side believed it
could trust.

NEXT STEPS FOR JOLO AND BASILAN
——————————-

¶3. (C) Gonzales, joined by NSA Undersecretary Milo Ibrado,
brother of the newly appointed Armed Forces chief, expressed
concern about the unresolved Red Cross hostage situation in
Jolo, but acknowledged that plans were underway to address
the terrorist problem aggressively once the remaining hostage
was released. The Ambassador said that the U.S. would
continue to provide assistance to the Philippine military to
mitigate terrorism on Jolo and to support economic
development projects. Turning to the situation in Basilan,
Gonzales said he worried about the growing kidnap-for-ransom
industry on that island, which was emboldened by the weak
governance style of Governor Jum Akbar, whom Gonzales hoped
to discourage from running for re-election in May 2010.

ADVISER ADMITS DAVAO KILLINGS ARE A PROBLEM
——————————————-

¶4. (C) The Ambassador called Gonzales’ attention to the
vigilante killings in Davao (ref A), noting she had met with
Human Rights Watch about their recent report that blames the
mayor and local officials for complicity in a policy that
tolerates and even encourages the killings. She emphasized
the U.S. government’s extreme concern about the extent and
nature of the killings and about local officials’ tacit
support for the denial of due process for petty criminals,
who often are minors. Gonzales admitted the Davao killings
were a problem, said that it was no longer possible for the
local government to hide its involvement in the vigilante
killings, and suggested, without explaining, that the
situation in Davao might improve after the May 2010 elections.

Memmott

   

 

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