A spokesman for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) insisted that they are firm in their demand for independence and freedom. The Muslim rebels’ vow to fight for independence came up in an interview after the news of the withdrawal of Malaysia from the International Monitoring Team (IMT) which has been watching over the ceasefire between Philippine military and the MILF since peace negotiations began in 2004. The peace talks have been stalled since December over the issue of the scope of the Moros’ ancestral domain, which is the single most important issue in the peace negotiations. Malaysia, which is brokering the peace talks held in Kuala Lumpur, has announced it will no longer renew its participation in the IMT when its current mandate ends in September. Malaysia remains committed to pushing for peace in the troubled southern Philippines despite a scheduled pull-out of its monitors, the country’s army chief said Thursday.