Thursday, December 20, 2012

GPH-MILF 34th Exploratory Peace Talks ends in ‘technical’ impasse


From the Website of MILF
links:  http://www.luwaran.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2995:gph-milf-34th-exploratory-peace-talks-ends-in-technical-impasse&catid=31:general&Itemid=41



GPH-MILF 34th Exploratory Peace Talks ends in ‘technical’ impasse

December 16, 2012 News: The GPH-MILF 34th Exploratory Peace Talks in Kuala Lumpur had ended in a “technical” impasse after the Malaysian facilitator, Dato Tengku Ab’ Ghaafar bin Mohamed, adjourned the session Saturday night at 7:30 without a closing program, joint statement, and date for the next round of talks.


The MILF peace panel did not push for a joint statement and date for the next round of talks, saying that there are no formal agreements whether in the level of the panel or of the technical working groups (TWGs) that merited mentioning or acknowledgment.

However, in all other aspects of the talks, the parties have made tremendous gains on the four Annexes, Power sharing, Wealth sharing, Modalities and Arrangements, and Normalization. The work on power-sharing is 95% settled; on wealth-sharing, 60% settled; on Modalities and Arrangement, 99%; and on Normalization, 30%. This was the estimate of one member of the MILF peace panel secretariat, who requested anonymity, for lack of authority to speak on the matter.

As early as the second part of the plenary session last night, MILF peace panel chair, Mohagher Iqbal, had forewarned the parties for the record that the two panels were heading for a “technical impasse” after a grueling session that started in the TWG level the other day on the issue whether the MILF would lead the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA). The government peace panel wanted the “Bangsamoro” to lead it, which the MILF argued as a menu for the “struggle of the fittest and chaos” as this would imply that the chairman of the BTA is open for grabs.

In an interview with Luwaran, Iqbal said that he does not believe this position of the government peace panel reflects the thinking of President Benigno Aquino III.
MILF peace panel member, Abhoud Syed Lingga, advanced the idea that the series of events both in the international and domestic fronts pointed to efforts to ‘reconcile’ the GPH-MNLF Final Peace Agreement of 1996 and the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

However, he refused to add more details on the issue, saying let everyone discover the truth.

Another MILF peace panel member, Maulana Alonto, who was sitting in the Panel-to-Panel TWG discussion on Modalities and Transitional Arrangements, told their counterparts in government that the MILF leading the BTA is a non-negotiable matter, arguing that the MILF has long been the partner of the government in peace-making in the 16 long years of negotiation and after it signed the FAB; but all of a sudden, the government would replace it with strangers to the talks. In the plenary session of the panels that climaxed the end of the talks, Alonto pointedly told the GPH Peace Panel that the ‘MILF-led BTA’ formulation that has been reflected in the Modalities and Transitional Arrangement Annex draft is a crucial position that the MILF Peace Panel can never abandon and therefore it is a “take it or leave it” proposition to which the GPH Peace Panel should give serious thought to before rejecting or modifying it.

“This treatment is not reasonable, fair, and humane,” Datu Antonio Kinoc, alternate member of the MILF peace panel, lamented.



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