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MILF likely to reject changes to wealth-sharing formula

/ 04:08 PM June 17, 2013

MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front on Monday said they will discuss changes to the wealth-sharing annex being sought by the government, but added that they will most likely reject them.

MILF Vice Chairman for Political Affairs Ghadzali Jaafar told the reporters Monday by phone that the Central Committee will decide on this in its meeting but “… most probably the [committee] will not accept [the proposed changes].”

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He said he will preside over the discussion anytime until Wednesday.

“Pirmado na yun e, napirmahan na yung ano e, meron nang initial, bakit babaguhin? Dumaan na yan sa discussion,” he added, referring to the initial annex both sides drafted in Kuala Lumpur last February.

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(It has been signed; it has been initialled and why change it? It has also been fully discussed.)

The other annexes still unresolved in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro are wealth and power-sharing, and “normalization.”

Last week, Jaafar said that MILF ground commanders “are angry because they have been waiting for a long time.”

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, meanwhile, said that they remain supportive of the peace talks and they are confident that the disagreements are only “small stumbling blocks” that can be talked about.

The AFP has not monitored any resumption of violence amid the MILF “frustration.”

“[No violence]. Very peaceful. Like us, I believe like us the MILF are also seeking peaceful resolution,” Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala, AFP Public Affairs Office chief said.

Coming up with a comprehensive peace deal with the MILF has been delayed by six months already. Such document ideally guides the crafting of a Basic Law that would serve as charter of the future Bangsamoro autonomous entity which would replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

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After signing the preliminary Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) last Oct. 15, 2012, the parties were expected to have concluded a comprehensive agreement two months later.

That would have happened if the four annexes to the FAB dealing on power-sharing, wealth-sharing, normalization, and transitional arrangements and modalities (TAM) were completed.

So far, only TAM was done. The one for wealth-sharing was initialed last February although government has sought some more changes to it; and consensus on two power-sharing

Under the TAM, transition from ARMM to Bangsamoro should take place by 2015, culminating with the assumption into office of a full set of elected officials by July 1, 2016.

A Bangsamoro Basic Law, which Congress has to enact and to be ratified by the affected population, will be the principal instrument to carry out the transition.

Malaysian facilitator Dato Tengku Ab’ Ghafar Bin Tengku Mohamed traveled to the country early this month to do separate backroom talks with the parties to keep the talks going.

Within the slack period since April, the peace panels agreed to exchange notes to move the consensus-building exercise.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro, MILF, Nation, News, Peace Talks
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