Friday, August 23, 2013

GPH, MILF won’t allow spoilers to derail peace process Posted on Thursday, Aug 22nd, 2013



From the Website of OPPAP
links:  http://www.opapp.gov.ph/milf/news/gph-milf-won%E2%80%99t-allow-spoilers-derail-peace-process


GPH, MILF won’t allow spoilers to derail peace process

Posted on Thursday, Aug 22nd, 2013


Kuala Lumpur – The recent string of violence perpetrated by groups meant to derail the peace process will not prevent the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) from reaching a final peace agreement before the year ends.

“In this round, we will prove that we have not been waylaid by these groups’ destructive, desperate ways,” GPH peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said in her statement during the opening of the 39th GPH-MILF formal exploratory talks in this Malaysian capital.

Coronel-Ferrer referred to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters who went on a rampage last July “attacking soldiers and setting off grenades and IEDs in several parts of Central Mindanao.” She also mentioned the July 26 bombing in Cagayan de Oro where six civilians were killed while 40 were injured, and the August 5 Cotabato car blast that killed eight and injured scores of people including young children.

“But through their grievous deeds, these entrepreneurs of violence and mayhem have only succeeded in isolating themselves from the rest of the people,” she added. “Bombings, sniping, and various forms of indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations and objects such as bridges have no place in the moral order that we are instituting in our country and our communities.”

Amid these atrocities, Coronel-Ferrer expressed both parties’ resolve to reach “the goal of completing the last two remaining annexes.” To date, the GPH and the MILF panels have already signed two out of the four annexes to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB). These are the Annex on Transitional Arrangements on Modalities signed in February, and the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing. Soon to be completed and signed are the Annexes on Power Sharing and Normalization. These four annexes, together with the FAB, will comprise the comprehensive agreement which the parties aim to sign within the year.

“Let’s show that we are ready to put to sleep the infamous devil in the details and awaken the angel of creativity and compromise,” Coronel-Ferrer urged their MILF counterparts.

On the other hand, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal emphasized the need to finish the process soon because any further delay will give “various spoilers and enemies of peace” the chance “to spread their venom and to jump on our failures to stop dead the peace process on track.”

“In order to nip in the bud their bad intention and agenda, I believe the answer is for us to finish the remaining issues and sign the comprehensive peace agreement,” he said. “Once the agreement is sealed, it would be very difficult for them to destroy it.”

Iqbal pointed out that the signing of the comprehensive agreement will strengthen the partnership between the GPH and the MILF in consolidating the gains of the peace process towards the establishment of the envisioned Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao by 2016.

“Once this government is fully entrenched and functional, the problems that we are encountering now will gradually be eased out and those still opposing or fighting the government will be deprived of legitimacy and of popular support. ‘Take away the water,’ a famous Chinese revolutionary adage says, ‘the fish will die.’”

Malaysian third-party facilitator Tengku Datu Abdul Ghafar Tengku bin Mohamed called on both sides to look seriously at spoilers, especially the “militant groups” who don’t want to see peace.

“These people (spoilers) have no place in Mindanao. “I think the parties have to really work on these matters. I would like to call on the cooperation between MILF and GPH on handling these issues.”

TC members and observers

Likewise present in the 39th round of formal talks are members of the Transition Commission (TC), which Iqbal also chairs. By virtue of Executive Order 120, the TC is mandated to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will pave the way for the entrenchment of the new Bangsamoro region.

Observers from Congress and civil society also attended the opening ceremony. They include Deputy Speaker and Lanao del Sur Rep. Pangalian Balindong, North Cotabato Rep. Jesus Sacdalan, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Atty. Mary Ann Arnado of Mindanao Peaceweavers, Patricia Sarenas of the Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs Networks and Caucus of Development NGOs, and Salic Ibrahim of the Reform ARMM Now. # - See more at: http://www.opapp.gov.ph/milf/news/gph-milf-won%E2%80%99t-allow-spoilers-derail-peace-process#sthash.EkXwYhwM.dpuf





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