Signing of ‘wealth sharing’ dispels doubts on Mindanao's peace talks-A A +A
Friday, August 23, 2013
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Doubts that a comprehensive peace agreement between the Philippine government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) can be laid down during Aquino's administration were dispelled after the signing of one of the most important annexes to the peace talks was held early July, a top government official said on Thursday.
Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chair of the government's peace panel, said the signing of the Annex on Wealth Sharing on July 13 was "generally positively received".
Although there were questions and commentaries that came out, none so far was serious as to throw out or render unviable any single part of the Annex, Ferrer said.
For Ferrer, both parties persevered and showed "trust and confidence" to find a common ground on the difficult issues. There were "landmines," however, that blocked the path they were heading as the process goes along.
She cited the attacks launched by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the provinces of Maguindanao and North Cotabato just as the GPH and the MILF peace panels were talking peace in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
"Bombings, sniping, and various forms of indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations and objects such as bridges have no place in the moral order that we are instituting in our country and our communities," Ferrer said on Thursday during the opening of the 39th formal GPH-MILF exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur.
Ferrer said the attendance of the MILF and other stakeholders in the talks proved that they have not been waylaid by these groups' destructive and desperate ways.
In her speech, Ferrer reiterated the government's commitment to peace talks saying the President wanted to see through the peace road map during his term.
Two more remaining annexes of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro are set to be completed: power sharing and normalization.
The talks in Kuala Lumpur will discuss, among other things, the powers to be devolved on the new government and to what is called as normalization or the laying down of arms.
"We aim for an agreement that leaves no one in the prospective Bangsamoro political entity left behind as far as protection of rights and access to power and wealth are concerned," Ferrer said. (Sun.Star Davao)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 24, 2013.