Friday, March 8, 2013

GPH, MILF sign annex on transitional arrangements, TOR for policing body


From the Website of the OPPAP
links:    http://www.opapp.gov.ph/milf/news/gph-milf-sign-annex-transitional-arrangements-tor-policing-body


GPH, MILF sign annex on transitional arrangements, TOR for policing body

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Posted on Thursday, 28 February, 2013 - 10:34


KUALA LUMPUR --  The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) panels signed late night Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur the first of four Annexes to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities (TAM) “details the road map towards the creation of the Bangsamoro” region.

According to their joint statement, the parties also signed the Terms of Reference for the Independent Commission on Policing (ICP). The ICP will submit recommendations to the peace panels on the appropriate form, structures and relationships of the police force for the Bangsamoro.


Both panels likewise continued discussions on the Annexes on Wealth-sharing and Power-sharing and resolved most of the remaining issues. Also tackled was the composition of the Third Party Monitoring Team that will review, assess, evaluate and monitor the implementation of the FAB and its Annexes.

The Technical Working Group on Normalization meanwhile  continued discussions on the Normalization Annex and took charge of refining the TOR on the policing review body that was drafted by Kristian Herbolzheimer, who sits in the International Contact Group.
GPH panel chair Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer expressed her satisfaction on the results of the recent round of talks. “This has been a very fruitful round, a very happy one, with the signing of the Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities. We actually had a draft as early as December and finally now we are signing it. Resolutions of issues on wealth-sharing also took a long time but here we are - they’ve been solved, we found the language.”


Transition Commission

Both sides welcomed the appointment of the members of the Transition Commission (TransCom) who will draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will be certified urgent by the President and passed by Congress before undergoing a plebiscite in the envisioned core territory of the Bangsamoro region. Once ratified, Bangsamoro will replace  the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“Certainly, we wish the members of the Transition Commission  the strength and the wisdom to be able to carry out the functions that they will assume in the TransCom. We will always be here to support your work,” Coronel-Ferrer stated.

Iqbal, who has been appointed to the TransCom, said that the group has only one year and 10 months to fulfill its task. “The road ahead is full of twists and turns. The challenges are seemingly unsolvable. But I know that the members of the TC (TransCom) have that political will to overcome all problems and obstacles along the way.”


Near the finish line

Coronel-Ferrer recalled President Benigno Aquino III’s metaphor in his speech during the launch of the Sajahatra Bangsamoro program in Maguindanao recently. The President referred to a difficult lap in the famous Boston marathon called Heartbreak Hill which runners needed to pass before reaching the finish line.

“He (Aquino) was saying that, you know, that’s where you are now. That’s why it’s so difficult because you have to go through this hill in order to complete the marathon,” she said.

The panel chair related that “not giving up” and “giving” brought the two parties this far.
“So we’re halfway through that Heartbreak Hill and soon we will finish the marathon. And after the marathon, of course, there will be another marathon. So it’s not goodbye, it’s still hello to everyone,” said Coronel-Ferrer.

Outgoing Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) Country Representative David Gorman, who is part of the International Contact Group (ICG), said he is familiar with Heartbreak Hill having hailed from Boston. “Once you do overcome Heartbreak Hill, the remainder of that is unstoppable and you say to yourself, once I cross Heartbreak Hill, I cannot stop now and I must continue going. It’s just so close to the finish line. I think there’s where you’re at right now. And I think in today’s meeting, you crossed Heartbreak Hill. I do believe that.”
On the other hand, Iqbal acknowledged the very challenging tasks ahead. “I would like to invite everybody – our counterparts. Counterparts from government, my colleagues in MILF panel to look at the forest rather than at the trees because if we look at the larger picture and we focus on that, I think we would be able to surpass all obstacles along the way.”

Both parties extended their gratitude to President Aquino for his unwavering commitment to peace, and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak for the  facilitation of the GPH-MILF peace talks. They also thanked the members of the ICG, namely Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom, CHD, Conciliation Resources, Muhammadiyah and The Asia Foundation. 

Further, they expressed their appreciation to Gorman, who is set to move to a bigger assignment as CHD's director general in Eurasia, for his active participation in the ICG since its inception and his valuable contribution to the GPH-MILF peace process. #






links:

http://www.opapp.gov.ph/milf/news/gph-milf-sign-annex-transitional-arrangements-tor-policing-body











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