Friday, August 10, 2012

GPH, MILF talks formally opens; parties create working groups


From the Website of OPPAP
links:  http://www.opapp.gov.ph/milf/news/gph-milf-talks-formally-opens-parties-create-working-groups




GPH, MILF talks formally opens; parties create working groups

  • Printer-friendly version
  • Share
Posted on Wednesday, 8 August, 2012 - 14:36

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 – After yesterday’s executive session, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front  (MILF) formally opened today the 30th round of exploratory talks between the two parties.

“Our negotiations are proceeding with undeniable momentum,” GPH panel chair Marvic Leonen said in his opening statement as both parties presented their technical working groups (TWGs) on power-sharing and wealth-sharing.

The TWGs are tasked to delve into the details of power-sharing and wealth-sharing and flesh out issues. Their outputs will be presented to both panels for approval.

Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato' Ghafar Tengku bin Mohamed noted the creation of the TWGs of both parties as a “sign of progress” in the 15-year negotiations.

On the government side, panel member Miriam Coronel-Ferrer will head the working group on power-sharing. Joining her are Upi, Maguindanao Mayor and alternate panel member Ramon Piang, former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Attorney General Jose Lorena and Office of Political Affairs Undersecretary and 1986 Constitutional Commission member Chito Gascon.

Panel member Senen Bacani will head the TWG on wealth-sharing with panel member Yasmin Busran-Lao as adviser. Joining them are Department of Environment and National Resources Assistant Secretary Anselmo Abungan and National Economic Development Authority Regional Director Ma. Lourdes Lim.
On the MILF side, Dr. Habib Macaayong leads the working group on power-sharing with Ustadz Anwar Sirad and Prof. Ali Ayuib as members. Their working group on wealth-sharing is led by Dr. Benjamin Domato with Dr. Mahid Macalingkang and Archie Buayah as members.


Complex and difficult negotiations

Leonen underscored that while both parties are in the last stretch of the negotiations, “the next stages will still be as complex.”

“As we mentioned during the last round of talks, our principals will be confronted with issues that will require difficult decisions,” Leonen said adding that he is “sure that our principals will be willing to make them and communicate them through us so that we can work on these concerns.”

On his part, MILF panel chair Mohagher Iqbal urged his counterpart to “persevere” saying that he “expects every sort of obstacles and complications… (as the) bargaining becomes more intense in the final stage.”
Both parties slammed the recent attacks of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFF-BIFM) in several military installations in Maguindanao and the municipality of Midsayap, North Cotabato.

The BIFM is a group formed by breakaway MILF commander Ustadz Ameril Umra Kato and is considered a lawless group, which is not covered by the ceasefire agreement between the government and the MILF.
Leonen said that the “attacks were suspiciously timed to coincide with the opening of the 30th Formal Exploratory Talks between the GPH and the MILF.

“Clearly, this group of Ustadz Ameril Umra Kato are one of the few that are willing to go at lengths to deny our communities and our peoples the benefit of a just and lasting peaceful settlement to our armed conflicts," Leonen said.

“They have lost the moral high ground: they have put communities and civilians in harm’s way for amorphous and illegitimate objectives.”

Iqbal described the violent acts of Kato’s group as an example of “dirty spoiling” and stressed that the “MILF has demonstrated itself as a reliable partner in peacemaking.”

“The path to peace is the most fruitful way, not through war,” Iqbal said. “The MILF is confronting the problem of radicalism especially among the youth head on.”

Leonen stressed that “we will certainly not pause because of unreasonable violent acts from those who cannot see that the just way to resolve our conflict is through patient and candid dialogue.



OPPAP Website



links: 







PROTECTION AND PROMOTIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------