Government, Moro rebels peace talks 'making headway'-A A +A
Sunday, September 2, 2012
ON THE start of the National Peace Consciousness Month, a presidential adviser assured the public that the ongoing peace talks with a Moro group are on the right track.
Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said Saturday that the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are "continuing to create progress towards forging an agreement" for an enduring peace in Mindanao.
"Bright prospects for peace are in the horizon as negotiations with the [MILF] are making headway," Deles said in a statement.
On August 13, the government and the MILF ended their 30th round of formal talks in Malaysia, with the Moro group expressing its dedication to the peace process and also in settling the problems confronting the negotiation table.
"Let me assure everyone, especially the government, that MILF is a reliable partner in peace making," MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said.
He added that they are also "a reliable partner in confronting the challenges ahead" because they have the support of their people.
Meanwhile, Dean Marvic Leonen, the government's chief negotiator, said in his closing statement that the peace panel and the present administration is also "fully committed to understand the problem" and in trying to find solutions with the MILF.
In the recent round of negotiations, the two parties organized their respective Technical Working Groups (TWGs) on Power-Sharing and Wealth-Sharing, issues which are laid out in the Decision Points on Principles signed by both parties last April.
In a joint statement, the parties said the TWGs discussed and reached consensus on some issues on power sharing and revenue generation and wealth sharing arrangements.
The power sharing issue has three items which include the reserved powers for the National Government, the exclusive powers for the new political entity (NPE) that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and the coexisting powers shared by the National Government and the NPE.
Wealth creation or revenue generation and sourcing is for the fiscal autonomy of the NPE and its capacity to have its own sources of revenues.
But while there may have been some progress in the negotiations, Deles said the peace process cannot be left to the government alone.
"For a peace agreement to be lasting and durable, there has to be ownership. There has to be broad ownership; it cannot be owned only by those who sit on the negotiating table," Deles said.
"We cannot achieve peace until we all aspire for it and work together to fully recognize, honor and celebrate our differences – together," she added. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)