Preparations for framework deal signing in full swing-A A +A
Saturday, October 13, 2012
MALACANANG said on Saturday that preparations for the formal signing on Monday of a framework agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are in full swing.
In an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the MILF alone will be represented by 200 people led by its chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.
"The preparations are in full swing for the ceremony on Monday. We were told yesterday that the signing of the framework agreement will be in the afternoon. The exact time is 1:30 (p.m.) at (the) Rizal Hall in Malacanang," she said.
"So again, this is historic because it's the first time that the MILF will ever be inside the Palace," Valte said.
Prior to the signing of the framework agreement, she said that President Benigno Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will have a bilateral meeting in the Palace.
The Malaysian leader will arrive in Manila on Sunday. Kuala Lumpur has been facilitating the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the Muslim rebels.
Valte said that the Presidential Security Group had a run through on Saturday for the arrival honors for the visiting Malaysian official, and on Sunday, there will be a walk through at 3 p.m. for the signing of the framework agreement.
Razak, Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, representatives of the International Contact Group, the International Monitoring Team, and the then secessionist Moro National Liberation Front, will witness the signing ceremony of the framework agreement, Valte said.
She said that the GPH and the MILF have adopted security and diplomatic protocols for the October 15 event.
After the signing of the document by GPH panel chair Marvic Leonen and MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, they will hold a joint press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacanang.
At the same time, Valte expressed hope that those civil society organizations participating in the peace caravan called as "Lakbay Kalinaw," which was launched in Mindanao and on their way to Manila in time for the signing of the framework agreement, would have a "safe journey."
She said that the groups will also be witnessing the event on Monday.
The framework agreement provides for the creation of a Bangsamoro entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (SDR/Sunnex)