Signing of GPH, MILF peace pact to be held in Malacanang next week

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Friday, March 21, 2014


PREPARATIONS for the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) next week between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have been firmed up, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said Friday.

GPH chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said over a thousand people are expected to attend the March 27 signing ceremony to be held at the Malacañan Palace.

The CAB signing seals the partnership for peace and prosperity between the government and the MILF, she said.

"This partnership is based on our shared aspiration to heal the wounds of conflict, enable meaningful autonomy for the Bangsamoro, and nurture peace and development in Muslim Mindanao," Ferrer said.

Ferrer, as the government chief negotiator and MILF panel chair Mohagher Iqbal will sign the CAB with Malaysian Third Party Facilitator Tengku Dato' Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed signing as witness.

President Benigno Aquino III, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles and MILF chief Al Haj Murad Ebrahim are expected to deliver their messages before attendees coming from the international community and various sectors.

"From the FAB (Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro) to the CAB, we have come a long way," said Ferrer.

"We dedicate the signing of the CAB to all the people who have helped us reach this stage in the journey. To them we owe this opportunity to bring our people closer together toward shared peace and prosperity under one country standing tall before the global community," she added.

Simultaneous celebrations are being organized by different organizations in various parts of Mindanao and Metro Manila to welcome the signing of the CAB.

The CAB brings together all the major agreements signed by the parties in the course of the 17-year negotiations. Its most important parts are the FAB and the four annexes - transitional arrangements and modalities, wealth sharing, power sharing and normalization. These documents provide for the road map and the terms pertaining to the creation of the Bangsamoro entity and the transformation of the MILF from an armed group to an active participant in governance and societal reform.

Drafting the law The CAB serves as basis for the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law being done by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission. The draft law will be submitted to Congress and certified by the President as urgent.

A plebiscite will then be held at the areas identified in the agreement after the law is passed. These areas are the current provinces and cities in the Autonomous Region on Muslim Mindanao, the cities of Isabela and Cotabato, six municipalities in Lanao del Norte, and 39 barangays in six municipalities of Cotabato province. Other geographic areas that are contiguous to the enumerated places and that wish to join the plebiscite may do so through a resolution passed by the local government unit concerned or a petition of at least 10 percent of registered voters in the locality two months before the conduct of the plebiscite. (SDR/Sunnex)

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