Advertisement

Govt, MILF fail to solve peace issues

The signing of a final peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was postponed after both sides agreed to hold off negotiations until after the May 13 polls. In a joint statement after the 37th round of formal negotiations in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, both panels admitted that they failed to complete the three remaining annexes on power-sharing, wealth-sharing, and normalization. “The panels agreed to meet again after the May 13, 2013 Philippine elections,” the joint statement read. “The panels continued to find ways to resolve remaining issues on the annexes on wealth sharing, power sharing and normalization, agreeing to exchange notes through the facilitator in the coming days. They affirmed their commitment to finally settle these issues soon so that all three annexes may be signed without undue delay.” The government and the MILF originally agreed to complete the talks on the four annexes in December but the schedule was moved to March. The annexes remain unsigned until today except on transitional arrangements. Earlier, presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles said that the normalization process with the MILF will also result in the disarmament of other private armed groups in Mindanao. “You don’t just talk about the arms of the MILF, but also of everyone else. That is part of normalization. How can you ask the MILF to completely disarm if other groups or some families are armed?” she said. “We are looking for a real partnership among the government, the MILF, and other governance constituencies to look at this matter on how to make life more secure, to trust in the state forces to make them secure, and be engaged in other productive activities,” Deles added. Deles said both parties would also work together to reduce and control of firearms in Mindanao. “As put in the framework agreement, decommissioning is phased and calibrated and will start once political commitments are delivered. We agreed that substantial decommissioning happens when the basic law is delivered,” she said. “The MILF shall undertake a graduated program for decommissioning of its forces so that they are put beyond use,” Deles added, citing the framework pact. A joint normalization committee will also be formed for the coordination between the parties towards full decommissioning, which will be overseen by a third-party monitor composed of domestic and international partners of the peace process. The Transition Commission, the body mandated to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law, met last week for the first time and has agreed to undertake consultations in all communities that will be affected by the planned abolition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The basic law, once enacted, will pave the way for a new autonomous political entity in Mindanao to be called Bangsamoro. Under the framework agreement, the Bangsamoro will have for its core territory the present composition of the ARMM. The new political entity will also include the municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkal in the province of Lanao del Norte and all other barangays in the municipalities of Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit, and Midsayap which voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite; and the cities of Cotabato and Isabela. President Benigno Aquino III wants the basic law to be enacted by 2015, with an interim authority in place a year before the next national elections. “We need the organic act enacted into law by 2015. This will be passed through Congress and approved in a plebiscite and we hope to install the new government with a mandate after 2016 elections. There will be an interim authority from 2015 to 2016,” Aquino said.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.
AdvertisementKPPI
Advertisement