Government, Moro rebel group at 'door of agreement'-A A +A
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
THE government urged on Tuesday the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to persevere as both parties are now at the "door of an agreement."
Government chief negotiator Marvic Leonen made the call during the opening of the 29th formal exploratory talks in Malaysia.
"This administration is prepared to fully invest in a harmonious working relationship between the National Government and the new autonomous political entity to enable an autonomy that is truly viable and workable," he said.
"We are at the door of an agreement. Let us persevere. Now is indeed the time for peace," he said.
Leonen said the current working arrangement and partnership between the two parties can be enhanced to "make it possible for meaningful autonomy to exist."
"Never again should it be possible for rights or powers granted under any law or norm be rendered inutile without corresponding increase in the ability of the autonomous government to mobilize and/or capacitate leaders who will not only have the competence to govern but who will also approach leadership as positions of trust and stewardship," he said.
At the same time, the chief negotiator said that with the cooperation and partnership between the two parties, the National Government can assist in the establishment of the new autonomous political entity (NPE).
"There will still be investments or national fund transfers from the National Government. Eventually, there will be the ability of the NPE to generate its own sources of revenues," Leonen said.
Earlier, the government and the MILF agreed on 10 points, which include the creation of an NPE to replace the existing Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Armm).
For his part, MILF panel chair Mohagher Iqbal agreed that the “momentum for a peace settlement is at hand.”
Meanwhile, Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato Ab' Ghafar Tengku Mohamed reiterated his country's commitment to the peace process as facilitator and head of the International Monitoring Team, an international body that monitors the ceasefire, civilian protection component, rehabilitation and development, and socio-economic agreements between the government and the MILF.
"We pray that the elusive lasting peace will one day emerge from this table," he said.
Joining the government peace panel during the talks is Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman who serves as a consultant of the panel for the 29th formal talks.
Prior to the formal resumption of the talks in Kuala Lumpur, the government and the MILF, along with the Malaysian facilitator, were engaged on Monday in an executive session. (SDR/Sunnex)