Thursday, January 23, 2014

Noy optimistic about ongoing peace talks between gov’t, MILF — Coloma

From the Daily Tribune (Jan 24): Noy optimistic about ongoing peace talks between gov’t, MILF — Coloma

Press Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said President Aquino expects to have completed the provisions of the peace talks between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) with regard to the remaining annex on the Framework Agreement Bangsamoro that resumed Jan. 23 until 26 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“We have full confidence the negotiation can be finished, and hope to build an agreement on the remaining annex for the entire agreement on the Bangsamoro,” Coloma said.

Coloma said that Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles confirmed the negotiation would begin Jan. 23 until Sunday, Jan. 26.
He emphasized that the processes should have to be accomplished before the Aquino administration ends its term.

“Our objective is to conclude the process within the present administration. Before it, by 2015, there should be a plebiscite in the Bangsamoro Basic Law,” Coloma said.

Coloma said the plebiscite should be defined based on the enacted law by Congress.

Coloma said even there was a delay on the comprehensive agreement, every aspect has been covered on details necessary for the Basic Law.

Government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said in this round, they are burdened with great expectations.

Coronel-Ferrer said that they are expected to close the Addendum to the Annexes on Power Sharing and Wealth Sharing that the GRP and the MILF panels subsequently agreed to add.

“To think that we are so close to closing the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and we still call this round ‘Formal Exploratory Talks’ — the 43rd to be precise. It makes one wonder when we will ever get to the next higher stage of formal talks,” Corornel-Ferrer said.

She said they have gone deep into defining and structuring Bangsamoro autonomous governance, how in effect fiscal and political autonomy should be realized.

Coronel-Ferrer said they are coming to terms with the bigger project of “normalization” with its diverse components, socio-economic, transitional justice and reconciliation, and security.

The security aspect alone is made up of several elements —disbandment of private armed groups, decommissioning of MILF combatants and weapons, redeployment of the AFP from or within the Bangsamoro as the security situation improves, a halt to the proliferation of loose firearm, and transitional security arrangements that will see the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) collaboratively keeping the peace on the ground.

“In particular, we ask you, our negotiating partners, to show the goodwill and benevolence in extending the hand of friendship with your other fellow Moros and fellow indigenous peoples, especially those, who like you, historically descended from ancestors who have called Mindanao their home,” Coronel-Ferrer said.

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