Peace Talks Between GPH and MILF to Resume in July

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Photo from Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

The Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will resume their succeeding round of formal exploratory talks in July, according to a statement of GPH peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer posted on the website of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

She said, “The panel chairs have already agreed on a date early next month to further discuss the annexes on wealth sharing, power sharing and normalization.”

She disclosed as well that she passed on to her counterpart the full proposals of the government on the wealth-sharing annex for the MILF to study and consider. The two panels are said to be in the process of completing the remaining annexes on wealth sharing, power sharing, and normalization that will consist the GPH-MILF comprehensive agreement, along with the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Coronel-Ferrer, who attended the Oslo Forum 2013 on June 18 and 19 with OPAPP Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, was said to have met informally with MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal in Oslo, Norway. Also in attendance were Iqbal, MILF peace panel member Maulana Alonto, MILF consultant Raissa Jajurie, and Malaysian Third-Party Facilitator Tengku Datu Abdul Ghafar Tengku bin Mohamed.

The forum, which was organized by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, “provided a venue for senior third-party conflict mediators and other key peace process actors to share experiences, identify challenges, and reflect on their own and others’ peace process practices.”

Meanwhile, GPH panel member Senen Bacani explained that only a few remaining issues on the annexes are being addressed and remained optimistic that a comprehensive agreement between the parties involved will be signed in a month or two.

Konting pasensya na lang po dahil natagalan lang ng konti dito sa due diligence work, wala po kasi kaming control sa mga schedule ng iba-ibang tao. Inaasahan ko po na baka isa o dalawang buwan na lang matapos na natin itong comprehensive agreement (We need a little patience and understanding for these delays as we have no control over the schedules of other people, but I am very hopeful that we will finish this comprehensive agreement in a month or two),” Bacani said.

He added, “What is important is that we continue to be committed to settle these issues, and once and for all complete the comprehensive agreement so that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission can also start drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law.”