'Framework' annexes completed by March-A A +A
Friday, February 1, 2013
DAVAO CITY -- The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are seeking to reach an agreement by next month on the annexes that will complete the recent framework agreement signed by the two parties.
Government of the Philippines (GPH) chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said she hopes to finally reach an agreement with her counterpart, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, on the three annexes that are considered contentious to finally come up with a comprehensive agreement.
"We are down to about seven issues on the three annexes: Annexes on power sharing, wealth sharing and transitional arrangements and modalities," Coronel-Ferrer said in a press conference at the Marco Polo Davao on Friday.
She said some of the issues pertain to jurisdiction over natural resources, transportation and communication, the extent of territorial waters, taxing powers, timetables for decommissioning and demilitarization, policing structures, and the transition authority, among others.
For power-sharing, she said allocations of power related to jurisdiction over mineral resources, transportation and communication, and water domain are issues that need to be reconciled.
"We need to find allocation as to who has the jurisdiction over the different elements. So that the challenge is to really locate them to where they belong, which is, in fact, they shall be concurrent," said Coronel-Ferrer, who made a report of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement during Friday’s opening of the first Mindanao Development Forum (MDF).
Further taxes, system of automatic appropriations and closing the discussion on the share on revenues on the mineral and energy resources of the Bangsamoro are some issues under the wealth-sharing, according to Coronel-Ferrer.
She said these are just some of the options they are trying to reconcile with the position articulated in the points tackled during the last talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
"These are some of the key issues that are still pending with regards to the power sharing, wealth sharing annexes but otherwise large tracks of the text have already the achieved consensus," she said.
Coronel-Ferrer said she and Iqbal are both committed to finish the agreement and move on to the last.
"We are not entertaining any failure here," she said, quoting an earlier statement made by Iqbal.
During the 35th round of formal exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur, Iqbal said he is hopeful that they will soon conclude with the negotiations on substantive issues.
In a news release posted on the official website of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Iqbal expressed the MILF's determination to arrive at a comprehensive agreement with the government despite the challenges.
"We are not entertaining any failure in these negotiations. Our minds, our hearts are focused that we must be able to conclude this process successfully," he was quoted as saying.
"Lastly, I would like to appeal to both sides -- the GPH panel and the MILF panel -- to start due diligence from the moment we return to our respective places and be able to report to our respective principals," he added. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 02, 2013.