Thursday, November 7, 2019

Gov’t, MNLF creating panels to ‘move forward’ in peace talks

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 7, 2019): Gov’t, MNLF creating panels to ‘move forward’ in peace talks

The government and the Nur Misuari-led Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are eyeing to create committees that will serve as the foundations of the ongoing peace negotiations, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez, Jr. said Wednesday.

Citing developments in the recent meetings of the government with the MNLF, Galvez said the two sides have agreed to create “exploratory committees” that will lead the negotiation efforts.

The peace chief told reporters that government met with MNLF last August, September, and October where Misuari as the MNLF’s founding chair, conveyed his “100 percent” support to the peace agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte and Misuari have repeatedly met in Malacañang this year.

READ: Duterte meets with Misuari anew, bigger meetings eyed

Galvez said the groups, which will be divided into two—political and security committees—will hold talks to discuss how the two sides can “move forward” in the peace talks.

Duterte’s peace adviser previously said a new regional government for the MNLF may be created in pursuit of lasting peace in Mindanao.

This is after the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

BARMM was created through the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), a product of peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which is a breakaway faction of the MNLF.

But Galvez couldn’t say for now if government and the MNLF are eyeing to strike a BOL-like deal as they have yet to talk about key portions of the agreement.

Galvez, a former chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, added that they are eyeing to finish the “substantial agreements” of the deal within Duterte’s term and will hold two or three meetings with the MNLF side before the year ends.

“Meron siguro mga two to three meetings pa (this year),” Galvez said.

[Yes we will have two three meetings more this year.]

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