Friday, July 5, 2013

GPH hopes to finish wealth-sharing annex with MILF in next round of talks July 5, 2013

From the Website of the President

Gov @ Work

GPH hopes to finish wealth-sharing annex with MILF in next round of talks July 5, 2013
Manila – Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer on Thursday expressed the government’s resolve to complete the annex on wealth sharing with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the next round of formal exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur this month.

“We’re both very conscious that we do want to finish (the Annex) as soon as possible; that we do need to find compromises to be able to put something in the text and sign on to it,” she said in an interview with Rappler.

The annex on wealth-sharing is one of the three remaining annexes that are expected to be completed by the GPH and the MILF soon. Together with the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, the three annexes will comprise the comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro.

“It’s in this stage that both parties want to come to terms with the remaining issues, specially pertaining to the wealth-sharing annex that has taken a long time to process,” said Coronel-Ferrer.

The panel chair explained that both parties knew that the document on the wealth sharing annex had to be brought back to their respective principals for final review. “That’s precisely why the two panel chairs did not initial nor sign this document because that will happen after the final review takes place,” she added.

Coronel-Ferrer denied media statements that called the four-month lull in the negotiations a stalemate, saying that, “There have been communications going on formally and informally through the facilitator and other channels. The best indication is we’re actually meeting again face to face to hammer out the issues.”

In a separate statement, Coronel-Ferrer disclosed that the GPH proposal on wealth-sharing provides for a fiscal arrangement that is better than what exists in the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“There will be more taxing powers and a more defined sharing of government resources on the whole, in keeping with the goal of having a strong and viable autonomous Bangsamoro governance,” she said.

“If things go well, we might be able to have a good working draft of the power sharing annex with only few items left for resolution,” she added.

Third-party monitors

Coronel-Ferrer also announced that that Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) has been invited by the two panel chairs to join them in Kuala Lumpur next week for introductions and to convene for the first time as the third-party monitor that will review, assess, evaluate and monitor the implementation of the FAB and its annexes.

“The convening of the TPMT is another concrete indication that all is well in the peace process,” she stated.

According to its Terms of Reference, signed in January 2013 by the two parties, the TPMT will have an eminent person as chair, two persons coming from international non-government organizations, and another two members from domestic NGOs. The identity of the members will be formally announced during the talks.
Vigilance from the public

Coronel-Ferrer called on stakeholders to be more vigilant amid disinformation surrounding the GPH-MILF peace process.

“We have received disturbing text messages warning the resurgence in violence because allegedly the FAB has been scrapped. We ask the public not to take heed of this form of destabilization from segments who oppose the peace process,” she stated.

Office of the President Website