Close  

Aquino orders MILF talks reset to allow for review

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 05:02 AM March 26, 2013

President Aquino. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Monday ordered the postponement of the negotiations with the Moro rebels to next month even as he said the talks were on track despite the Sabah crisis.

On the President’s request, the 37th round of formal exploratory talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) scheduled on Monday was reset to April, Secretary Teresita Deles said. This was to give the government side more time to review the remaining annexes to the peace deal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Government peace panel Chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer is in Kuala Lumpur “to personally convey the request and to set with their counterparts the new date for the talks,’’ said Deles in a statement released by Malacañang.

“As the President said today, it is important to finish all the annexes, which requires reaching a meeting of the minds on these annexes. This will in turn help in the process of crafting a new organic act so that the final outcome will be legislation all stakeholders can agree to and rally behind,’’ she said.

FEATURED STORIES

Come to understanding

Earlier in the day, the President acknowledged that both the government and the MILF must “come to an understanding on these annexes.’’

“So that the crafting of the new organic act will be something that all stakeholders can agree to and rally behind,” he told reporters in an interview.

In past speeches, Mr. Aquino predicted that a comprehensive peace agreement would be forged by the end of March. Ferrer said this would be signed in April.

Comprehensive agreement

The three-day talks, supposed to be the last, would tackle the remaining annexes of power-sharing, wealth-sharing and normalization, following the signing of the annex on transitional arrangements and modalities last month.

The Oct. 15, 2012, Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, plus the annexes, would comprise the comprehensive agreement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mr. Aquino also said on Monday that both parties were committed to finalizing the annexes despite the crisis triggered by the incursion of Agbimuddin Kiram and armed followers into Lahad Datu in Sabah on Feb. 12.

“The Sabah issue should not affect the ongoing talks with the MILF,’’ he said.

The crisis revived the claim by the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu to Sabah, a state administered by Malaysia which has hosted the talks between the Philippine government and the Moro rebel group.

Meanwhile, Deles said the first en banc meeting of the 15-member Transition Commission, which will craft the Bangsamoro basic law that will be submitted to Congress, has been set for the first week of April.

Ferrer will discuss with her MILF counterpart the preparations for the Transition Commission, Deles said.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Ding Deles, MILF, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro rebels, Muslim rebels, peace process, Philippine peace process, President Aquino, sabah crisis, Teresita Deles
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.