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Philippine president appoints law professor as chief peace negotiator with MILF

07-15-2010 14:27 BJT

MANILA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Benigno III has appointed Marvic Leonen, dean of the University of the Philippines' (U.P.) College of Law, as the government's chief peace negotiator with the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In a statement issued Thursday, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said Leonen's "varied and rich experience and expertise in advancing people's rights" will help in the government's peace talks with Muslim rebels.

Leonen is a known expert in constitutional and international law. Shortly after obtaining his law degree from the U.P. in 1987, he co-founded the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LNRC). The LNRC is a legal and policy research and advocacy institution and provided legal services for upland rural poor and indigenous people's communities. He served as the LNRC's executive director for 15 years.

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