MNLF leaders to attend peace deal signing-A A +A
Monday, October 15, 2012
MANILA -- Some leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) will be attending the historic signing of the framework agreement in Malacañang on Monday.
The framework agreement is considered the roadmap that contains a set of principles and values that would guide the process for the final political settlement of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Malaysia has been the third party facilitator of the GPH-MILF peace talks since 2001 and the head of the International Monitoring Team since 2004.
Government’s chief negotiator Marvic Leonen and his MILF counterpart, Mohagher Iqbal, are set to sign the framework agreement at 1:30 p.m. Monday.
“I have talked to the (MNLF) facilitators of the tripartite review. They agree with the process. We have been telling them that the MNLF will be acknowledged and will not be left behind in the process,” said Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles.
The MNLF headed by Nur Misuari earlier denounced the framework agreement, saying it is tantamount to abandoning the 1976 Tripoli Agreement between his group and then-president Ferdinand Marcos, and the 1996 Final Peace Pact with then-president Fidel Ramos.
The framework agreement contains the ideas of creating a “Transition Commission” that will craft the proposed “Bangsamoro Basic Law,” which will then be submitted to Congress for legislation.
Leonen in an earlier interview said the MNLF is a political organization, while the MILF is a Moro rebel group.
“The MNLF is a political organization and it depends on the MILF if it wants to build alliances with the MNLF and we’re hoping that they do,” he said.
As of now, Misuari refused to join the process on the creation of the Bangsamoro.
But Deles said there are ongoing talks with the MNLF leader to persuade him to join.
“We hope that Nur Misuari will see that what Bangsamoro aims is peace,” she said.
The 16-year-old pact is undergoing a tripartite review led by MNLF officials, representatives of the Aquino Government and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The review was initiated in order to solve weak provisions in the original peace agreement.
Deles also expressed hope that the MNLF leader will join the Transition Commission, which will draft the “Bangsamoro Basic Law” that will create the Bangsamoro.
Any proposed law resulting from this framework will be subject to ratification through a plebiscite. Once approved, there will be elections.
Meanwhile, Malacañang is confident the proposed “Bangsamoro” will not be a “failed experiment,” like the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a radio interview, said: “We’re very hopeful of this particular agreement. Both sides are committed to giving peace a chance.”
Valte said that the Bangsamoro is not a “makeover” or a mere replacement of the Armm.
“A reading of the framework agreement will belie that assumption,” she said. (PNA/Sunnex)