Bayan Muna warns of US influence on GPH-MILF peace pact

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 November) – Bayan Muna warned the United States might try to influence the final peace agreement that will be entered into by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“An external power or influence should be a No-No, except for the Malaysian government as facilitator of the peace talks, and the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation),” Ariel Casilao, Bayan Muna national executive vice president, said Monday on the sides of Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City.

“The US is aggressively interested in meddling in geopolitical, economic and military affairs in Mindanao,” he stressed, citing that the US Agency for International Development has funded several projects in the island.

He said the prospects after the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) are worrisome even if “we are happy that it (FAB) was duly accepted by the Filipinos, especially the concerned Bangsamoro people, as it is a step forward in resolving the conflict.”

He pointed out that the final comprehensive agreement can be derailed either through the plebiscite or by whatever decision the Congress may make.

The FAB states that the Bangsamoro, a new autonomous political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao by 2016, shall be governed by a basic law, which shall be approved by Congress and ratified in a plebiscite within the Bangsamoro territory.

Casilao cited the possibility that some provisions of the basic law may require amendments in the Constitution.

Bayan Muna Rep. and senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño said at the Kapehan that they were adopting a “cautious optimism” as FAB will undergo a stringent process.

“We are optimistic because signing the framework agreement is one step in a journey of a thousand steps. But we do not know yet who will be appointed to the Transition Commission that will draft the basic law,” he said.

The Transition Commission (TransCom) will be composed of 15 members all of whom are Bangsamoro. Seven members will be selected by the government, and eight, including its chair, by the MILF.

The FAB states: The TransCom will work on the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and on proposals to amend the Philippine Constitution for the purpose of accommodating and entrenching in the Constitution the agreements of the parties, whenever necessary without derogating from any prior peace agreements. (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)

URL: http://www.mindanews.com/peace-process/2012/11/05/bayan-muna-warns-of-us-influence-on-gph-milf-peace-pact/

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