Friday, August 9, 2013

April 18-The Road to Bangsamoro: 38.5 months away



From the Website of MILF
links: http://www.luwaran.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3172:april-18-the-road-to-bangsamoro-385-months-away-&catid=345:gggg&Itemid=553

April 18-The Road to Bangsamoro: 38.5 months away

The completion of the peace process towards the establishment of the Bangsamoro in June 2016 is approximately 38.5 months away. We based this assumption on the provision stipulated on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed between the GPH and MILF Peace Panels last October 15, 2012 in Manila. This however depends on how fast both panels agree on the remaining unresolved contentious annexes which were supposedly completed and signed before the end of 2012. 

The failure of both panels during its 37th Exploratory Talks last April 11, 2013 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to complete the discussions on wealth and power sharing and normalization annexes and the signing of the Comprehensive Compact Peace Agreement was the 2nd time since December 2012. The first time was when the 37th Exploratory Talks did not pushed through last March 25-27, instead the panels held a special meeting and the 2nd time was when the same exploratory talks culminated last April 11 with three annexes still pending. 



Who’s to blame?


The blame cannot be put on the side of the MILF because time and again it stressed the vitality of finishing the discussions on the annexes otherwise the TransCom cannot proceed to substantive issues and can only deal on organizational matters. Previously, Mohagher Iqbal, MILF Chief Peace Negotiator and TransCom Chairman urged their counterpart in the government to “finish the annexes before the mid-term elections” in May 2013. But it did not happen. The latest exploratory talks produced no significant results except that it agreed on “exchanging notes” and resume the negotiations after May 13. This act of dilly-dallying tactic by the government panel prompted Iqbal to say that the “MILF Peace Panel is ready to sign the “initialed” annex on wealth-sharing but the government was not ready”. 


On her part, GPH Peace Panel Chair Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer acknowledged to MindaNews that the annex on wealth sharing had been initialed at “the TWG level” but as agreed, it will be subject to the review of our principals. The recent development at Kuala Lumpur increases the anxiety of the Bangsamoro people and reduced their enthusiasm on the on-going peace process as they have long wanted the successful culmination of the peace process so that peace and progress can ultimately reign in Mindanao.

Lifespan of TransCom gets shorter

To date, there is only one year and eight months left to the lifespan of the TransCom and the GPH-MILF peace negotiation is an urgent business.  On its editorial dated March 24, 2013, Luwaran, the Official Website of the MILF Central Committee on Information called on everyone including the international community, “to urge all parties to expedite the talks in a deliberate and sure manner. Time is ticking away; once it has passed, we cannot go back anymore. We also call upon them to journey with us until the conclusion of these negotiations”.

The Roadmap towards Bangsamoro

The April 17 issue of MindaNews published The “Roadmap to the Creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Political Entity” prepared by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office in time for the signing of the FAB on October 15, 2012, listed 15 steps to 2016.

These are: 1. Signing of the FAB by both parties; 2. Parties adopt Annex on the Transitional Arrangements and Modalities (the illustrated roadmap does not mention the annexes on power-sharing, wealth-sharing and normalization but they should be on this Step); 3. Transition Commission (TransCom) is formed via Executive Order (EO); 4. Congress passes resolutions supporting the EO; 5. TransCom drafts Bangsamoro Basic Law bill; 6. Bill is submitted to Congress; 7. Bill is certified urgent by the President; 8. CongressioApril 18-The Road to Bangsamoro: 38.5 months away


By: Arland Abubakkar

The completion of the peace process towards the establishment of the Bangsamoro in June 2016 is approximately 38.5 months away. We based this assumption on the provision stipulated on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed between the GPH and MILF Peace Panels last October 15, 2012 in Manila. This however depends on how fast both panels agree on the remaining unresolved contentious annexes which were supposedly completed and signed before the end of 2012. 


The failure of both panels during its 37th Exploratory Talks last April 11, 2013 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to complete the discussions on wealth and power sharing and normalization annexes and the signing of the Comprehensive Compact Peace Agreement was the 2nd time since December 2012. The first time was when the 37th Exploratory Talks did not pushed through last March 25-27, instead the panels held a special meeting and the 2nd time was when the same exploratory talks culminated last April 11 with three annexes still pending.

Who’s to blame?


The blame cannot be put on the side of the MILF because time and again it stressed the vitality of finishing the discussions on the annexes otherwise the TransCom cannot proceed to substantive issues and can only deal on organizational matters. Previously, Mohagher Iqbal, MILF Chief Peace Negotiator and TransCom Chairman urged their counterpart in the government to “finish the annexes before the mid-term elections” in May 2013. But it did not happen. The latest exploratory talks produced no significant results except that it agreed on “exchanging notes” and resume the negotiations after May 13. This act of dilly-dallying tactic by the government panel prompted Iqbal to say that the “MILF Peace Panel is ready to sign the “initialed” annex on wealth-sharing but the government was not ready”. 


On her part, GPH Peace Panel Chair Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer acknowledged to MindaNews that the annex on wealth sharing had been initialed at “the TWG level” but as agreed, it will be subject to the review of our principals. The recent development at Kuala Lumpur increases the anxiety of the Bangsamoro people and reduced their enthusiasm on the on-going peace process as they have long wanted the successful culmination of the peace process so that peace and progress can ultimately reign in Mindanao.
Lifespan of TransCom gets shorter

To date, there is only one year and eight months left to the lifespan of the TransCom and the GPH-MILF peace negotiation is an urgent business.  On its editorial dated March 24, 2013, Luwaran, the Official Website of the MILF Central Committee on Information called on everyone including the international community, “to urge all parties to expedite the talks in a deliberate and sure manner. Time is ticking away; once it has passed, we cannot go back anymore. We also call upon them to journey with us until the conclusion of these negotiations”.

The Roadmap towards Bangsamoro

The April 17 issue of MindaNews published The “Roadmap to the Creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Political Entity” prepared by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office in time for the signing of the FAB on October 15, 2012, listed 15 steps to 2016.

These are: 1. Signing of the FAB by both parties; 2. Parties adopt Annex on the Transitional Arrangements and Modalities (the illustrated roadmap does not mention the annexes on power-sharing, wealth-sharing and normalization but they should be on this Step); 3. Transition Commission (TransCom) is formed via Executive Order (EO); 4. Congress passes resolutions supporting the EO; 5. TransCom drafts Bangsamoro Basic Law bill; 6. Bill is submitted to Congress; 7. Bill is certified urgent by the President; 8. Congressional action on the bill; 9. Bill submitted to the President for approval; 10. President signs the bill into law; 11. Plebiscite is held for the ratification of the law; 12. Promulgation and ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law; 13. Bangsamoro Transition Authority is created. ARMM is deemed abolished; all devolved authorities are vested in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority; 14. Ministerial form and Cabinet system of government will commence once the Bangsamoro Transition Authority is in place; and 15. Bangsamoro Transition Authority is replaced upon the election and assumption of the members of the Bangsamoro legislative assembly and the formation of the Bangsamoro government.

Among others, the panels had so far signed only the annex on transitional arrangement and modalities; three Terms of Reference — for the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT), the Independent Commission on Policing (ICP), and the Sajahatra Bangsamoro; and a certificate extending the tours of duty of the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team up to March 2014 and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group until February 14, 2014.

From today until the mid-term elections, we do not know what may transpire. There is an impending threat of missile strikes by North Korea against its arch enemy, South Korea; the United States and its allies that may affect the country as close ally of the U.S. The outcome of the election may also possibly affect the enactment of the Basic Law once it is crafted by the TransCom and forwarded to Congress especially when opposition candidates in the two chamber of congress become the majority.

Let us now look forward to the success of the peace process and think positive. The Framework Agreement was signed and witnessed by international figures, diplomats and representatives from domestic and international non-government organizations and institutions. The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Teresita Deles said during the last March 27th talks that while awaiting the finalization of all the annexes, “we believe that the (FAB) can serve as a lift-off point that will allow the (TransCom) its substantive work.” For this reason, we are made to believe that the government is duty bound to honor its commitments not only to the Moro people but as well as to the entire world.

nal action on the bill; 9. Bill submitted to the President for approval; 10. President signs the bill into law; 11. Plebiscite is held for the ratification of the law; 12. Promulgation and ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law; 13. Bangsamoro Transition Authority is created. ARMM is deemed abolished; all devolved authorities are vested in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority; 14. Ministerial form and Cabinet system of government will commence once the Bangsamoro Transition Authority is in place; and 15. Bangsamoro Transition Authority is replaced upon the election and assumption of the members of the Bangsamoro legislative assembly and the formation of the Bangsamoro government.

Among others, the panels had so far signed only the annex on transitional arrangement and modalities; three Terms of Reference — for the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT), the Independent Commission on Policing (ICP), and the Sajahatra Bangsamoro; and a certificate extending the tours of duty of the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team up to March 2014 and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group until February 14, 2014.

From today until the mid-term elections, we do not know what may transpire. There is an impending threat of missile strikes by North Korea against its arch enemy, South Korea; the United States and its allies that may affect the country as close ally of the U.S. The outcome of the election may also possibly affect the enactment of the Basic Law once it is crafted by the TransCom and forwarded to Congress especially when opposition candidates in the two chamber of congress become the majority.

Let us now look forward to the success of the peace process and think positive. The Framework Agreement was signed and witnessed by international figures, diplomats and representatives from domestic and international non-government organizations and institutions. The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Teresita Deles said during the last March 27th talks that while awaiting the finalization of all the annexes, “we believe that the (FAB) can serve as a lift-off point that will allow the (TransCom) its substantive work.” For this reason, we are made to believe that the government is duty bound to honor its commitments not only to the Moro people but as well as to the entire world.





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