Friday, August 30, 2013

Gov’t, MILF agree to hold 10-day meeting in September


From the Website of MILF
links:  http://www.luwaran.com/index.php/welcome/item/522-gov%E2%80%99t-milf-agree-to-hold-10-day-meeting-in-september

Gov’t, MILF agree to hold 10-day meeting in September

Philippine Government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace negotiators have decided at the end of their four-day 39th GPH-MILF Exploratory Talks that started on August 22 and ended yesterday to hold their 40th meeting for ten days in September.
Without clearly saying it, the parties are bent to conclude their discussion of the remaining two annexes (power-sharing and normalization) to pave way for the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The CPA is composed of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the four annexes (transitional arrangement and modalities, wealth-sharing, power-sharing, and normalization) which will be signed in one document called CPA.

In this round of talks, the MILF insisted on upholding the asymmetrical relations in the discussion of Annex on Power Sharing, which, according to an unimpeachable source, disclosed that the government peace panel, advertently or inadvertently, approached the issue from the standpoint of a unitary state that negates the principle of asymmetrical relationship. This was resisted by the MILF technical team up to the plenary level by the MILF peace panel.

Maulana Alonto, a member of the MILF Peace Panel, said anything that diminishes the asymmetrical relationship of the Bangsamoro Government with the Central Government is unacceptable.

He said the FAB has envisioned a ministerial form of government for the Bangsamoro based on asymmetrical relationship.

“If implemented,” Alonto said, “it (asymmetrical relationship) would extricate the Bangsamoro from the decades-old unitary system of government of the Philippines.

He said this system is a legacy of Spanish colonialism. It was established to consolidate Spanish colonial rule at the expense of the right to self-determination and freedom of the myriad nations that composed the Hispanic colonial state that eventually morphed into the modern Philippine nation-state.  The new relationship between the Philippine State and the Bangsamoro that is characterized by the principles of asymmetry and subsidiarity addresses the Bangsamoro Question but it can only be realized under a ministerial form of government as provided in the FAB, Alonto added.

“One should note carefully,” Alonto further emphasized, “the the issue here in the negotiation is not separation or political independence, but redefining and restructuring the totality of relationship between the Bangsamoro and the Philippine state into one that would allow the Bangsamoro people to have a government of their own that functions and operates more than the genre of failed political autonomy that was conferred on previous “autonomous governments” and the ARMM, but less than that of complete political independence.”

In the recent peace talks, the Parties have achieved substantial progress in the discussions towards finalizing the Annexes on Power-sharing and Normalization.

Asked to comment on the gains of this meeting, Mohagher Iqbal, chair of the MILF peace panel, told Mindanews that it has lifted the spirit of the parties to discuss more fully the remaining issues during the next round of talks next month.

The Parties also discussed the composition of the Independent Commission on Policing and the possibility of convening it during their next meeting.

The Parties also welcomed the attendance of observers from the House of Representatives, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), and the civil society. This meeting provided an opportunity for an informal discussion between the members of Congress and the BTC.

Interestingly enough, the members of Congress headed by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Congressman Pangalian Balindong, who attended this session of the peace negotiations pledged support for the yet-to-be crafted Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) once it reaches Congress. Mohagher Iqbal, Chair of the MILF Negotiating Panel, who had a side meeting with them, conveyed his thanks at this expression of support.

In the same vein, civil society organizations profusely offered their unflinching support to the peace process in general, and towards the success of the passage of the BBL in particular.  Those who attended are Atty. Mary Ann Arnado, Ms. Patricia Sarenas, and Salik Ibrahim.

Both the government and MILF peace panels have separately met members of the International Contact Group (ICG) and shared with the group their respective appreciation and concerns regarding the current peace talks.





MILF Website

links:
http://www.luwaran.com/index.php/welcome/item/522-gov%E2%80%99t-milf-agree-to-hold-10-day-meeting-in-september





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