No place for failure in peace talks: Ferrer-A A +A
Sunday, February 3, 2013
THE government peace panel has remained optimistic on the result of the peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to the point that entertaining a possible failure is a no-no for them.
In Friday's Mindanao Development Forum at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City, Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel chief in talks with the MILF Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said their focus is on reaching an agreement and implementing the same.
"To borrow a quote from my counterpart (MILF peace panel) chairman (Mohagher) Iqbal, we are not entertaining any failure here. We are both committed to finishing our work, finishing the agreement and move on to full blast implementation," she said.
Ferrer said they hope to sign the comprehensive agreement with the MILF by March 2013. She said there are few remaining issues that need to be addressed though before doing so.
“At this stage, we are moving towards completing the annexes which we hope to do by March during which time we can have the signing of the comprehensive agreement. We are down to seven issues on the three annexes –power sharing, wealth sharing and transitional arrangements,” Ferrer said.
The government peace panel chief said, however, that much of the framework agreement and annexes have already been agreed upon by both panels.
“Allocation of powers related to jurisdiction over mineral resources, allocation of power related to transportation and communication, and regional water domain. These are some of the key issues still pending, but otherwise, consensus on large tracts of the text has already been achieved,” she assured.
Mindanao Development Authority chair Lualhati Antonino, meanwhile, supported the positive outlook of the government peace panel on the peace negotiations with the MILF.
“We have positive outlook; that is why we are selling Mindanao to prospective investors that indeed this a good place to invest because there is going to be a reign of peace. We in Mindanao are already in a mood of getting together to look for ways of helping in the development of Mindanao,” said Antonino.
Last December, President Benigno S. Aquino III issued Executive Order 120 creating a Transition Commission (TC) that will draft the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law provided for in the Framework Agreement signed by the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on October 15.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said the EO "affirms the President's resolve to move forward the peace process for the Bangsamoro as a strategic initiative for political stability and economic development."
The EO creates a 15-member TC that will be appointed by the President. The Government and the MILF shall come up with a list of candidates from among the Bangsamoro and other residents in the prospective core area of the new political entity.
According to the Executive Order, the TC may also recommend to Congress and the people, when necessary, proposed amendments to the Constitution.
"The aim is to install the Bangsamoro through a new organic act as soon as possible in order to have an elected Bangsamoro government by 2016. This does not prevent the TC or its members from examining the constitution and recommending constitutional reforms,” said Ferrer.
The Transition Commission shall also assist in identifying development programs together with the Bangsamoro Development Authority and the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute -- two institutions affiliated with the MILF. (BOT)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 04, 2013.