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Some Bangsamoro leaders still apprehensive over peace talks – MILF official

Posted On 2014 Jan 25
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President Benigno S. Aquino III distributes vouchers for Scholarship Grants to beneficiaries during the Ceremonial Launch of Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program: Peace Dividends of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) at the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) in Barangay Salimbao, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on Monday (February 11, 2013). The strong partnership between the government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has become more evident as both sides work together in the process of identifying beneficiaries and their immediate needs that will be addressed by the Sajahatra Bangsamoro program. The FAB indicated that “the Parties agree to intensify development efforts for rehabilitation, reconstruction, and development of the Bangsamoro, and institute programs to address the needs of MILF combatants, internally displaced persons, and poverty-stricken communities.” In photo is MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim. (Photo by: Ryan Lim / Malacañang Photo Bureau).

President Benigno S. Aquino III distributes vouchers for Scholarship Grants to beneficiaries during the Ceremonial Launch of Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program: Peace Dividends of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) at the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) in Barangay Salimbao, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on Monday (February 11, 2013). The strong partnership between the government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has become more evident as both sides work together in the process of identifying beneficiaries and their immediate needs that will be addressed by the Sajahatra Bangsamoro program. The FAB indicated that “the Parties agree to intensify development efforts for rehabilitation, reconstruction, and development of the Bangsamoro, and institute programs to address the needs of MILF combatants, internally displaced persons, and poverty-stricken communities.” In photo is MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim. (Photo by: Ryan Lim / Malacañang Photo Bureau).

MANILA (Mabuhay) — Despite the significant progress in the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), some Bangsamoro leaders remain apprehensive over the negotiations, an MILF official admitted.

Admittedly, may mangilan-ngilang leaders ng Bangsamoro ang atubili o di kaya may alinlangan sa isinasagawang pag-uusap ngayon,” Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF first vice chairman for political affairs, said.

Jaafar did not elaborate on the cause of the misgivings but said he believes majority of the Bangsamoro people will support the agreement once it is signed by both parties.

Pero naniniwala ako na pag nandiyan na, pirmado na ‘yung Comprehensive Compact Agreement… susuportahan siya ng nakararami sa Bangsamoro people, if not all of them,” he said.

He reiterated his call to the Bangsamoro people, including even those from non-Muslim indigenous groups, to support the peace talks.

Panawagan namin ay para sa kanilang lahat na bigyan ng pagkakataon ang pag-uusap, itong peace talks sa pagitan ng Bangsamoro people at ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas. This time, ang Bangsamoro people ay represented by the leadership of the MILF,” he said.

Jaafar is optimistic that the ongoing talks in Malaysia will yield positive results.

“Considering the fact that 90 percent of the issues are being discussed, under the annex on normalization, are agreed upon already by both parties, meaning meron nang meeting of the minds,” he said.

The television report said the government panel shares the confidence of the MILF that the last annex of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement will be signed soon.

The annex on normalization tackles the disarmament or decommissioning of MILF members and other armed groups and economic programs for the residents of Bangsamoro territories.

Miriam Coronel Ferrer, chief government negotiator, believes the two panels will agree on the annex as the issue on Bangsamoro waters – part of the body of water that will be under the jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro government—has already been ironed out.

The two panels had set aside the issue in December to finish the annex on power-sharing.

Napakahalaga na ma-delineate kung saan talaga yung areas na yun [Bangsamoro waters]. Meron kang wealth-sharing lalo na yung malalaking mangingisda. Baka naman may regulatory arrangements ka sa kanila para naman hindi nila maubos lahat ng isda at the expense of the small fisherfolk,” Ferrer said.

She also said that part of the decommissioning is the inventory on all MILF members.

We’re working on certain figures pero ang procedure naman natin dyan ay magkakaroon tayo ng process of inventory tsaka verification. So ang pag-settle dyan ay hindi mangyayari sa annex na ‘to kundi maga-agree tayo sa process,” said Ferrer.

The government and MILF started its discussion on the annex on normalization on Wednesday.

The normalization annex is the last of four annexes to the Framework Agreement, which is expected to result in a Bangsamoro Political Entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The panels have already signed the Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing, and the Annex on Power Sharing.

A Bangsamoro Transition Commission shall be in charge of drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which will use the annexes as guide.

Ferrer earlier said they hope to present the Bangsamoro Basic Law to Congress by early 2014. (MNS)

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