GPH, MILF sign last Annex this weekend

KUALA LUMPUR (MindaNews / 24 January) –  From FAB to CAB.

Fifteen months after signing the Framework Agreement on the Bangsmaoro (FAB), the peace panels of the Philippine government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are expected to sign over the weekend the last of the four annexes to the FAB and the addendum on Bangsamoro waters, paving the way for the completion of the comprehensive peace agreement that both parties had agreed on Thursday to call the “Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro” (CAB).

Unlike previous sessions, the mood among members of the peace panels, the International Contact Group, the Malaysian facilitator and his staff, and the observers in this week’s round has been expectant, like parents or midwives awaiting the birth of a baby, many of them openly saying this is the last push.

“Happy anticipation,” GPH peace panel member Chito Gascon said.

And “last,” it may just be, in terms of completing the four annexes and the addendum on this 43rd Exploratory Talks, the 24th  under the Aquino administration, and although the final text of the CAB may not be finished in this round, the signing of the Annex on Normalization and the Addendum to the Annexes on Revenue Generation and Power-Sharing on the Bangsamoro waters, marks the end of the negotiations phase of the nearly 17-year old peace process on solving the Bangsamoro Question.

The witnesses to the historic event have in fact, arrived – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles and Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and North Cotabato Rep. Jesus Sacdalan, senior vice chair of the House Committee on Peace and Reconciliation, and Zambonaga City Rep. Lilia Nuno, who has been here since Wednesday, Day 1 of the talks.

Scheduled to arrive Friday evening are Senator Teofisto Guingona III and other Mindanao representatives — Pangalian Balindong of Lanao del Sur, the Deputy Speaker for Mindanao; Jim Hataman-Salliman of Basilan, chair of the House Committee on Peace and Reconciliation; Zajid Mangudadatu of Maguindanao; and Rep. Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao in northern Luzon, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said.

Clear indication

The arrival of, thus far the biggest contingent of Philippine observers and Philippine media in the 24 rounds of talks under the Aquino administration,  is a clear indication  that the signing would be on Saturday or on Sunday, the scheduled end of this round of talks.

GPH peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal told MindaNews separately that they were just “wrapping up” the final text.

Even Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato’ Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed told MindaNews at around 1:30 p.m. that the Addendum to the Annexes on Power and Wealth-Sharing on the Bangsamoro Waters was “99% done” and the Annex on Normalization was moving forward on the issue on phasing of the decommissioning and redeployment process.

MindaNews sources said the Addendum was completed at 4:30 p.m. and the text cleaned up by 6 p.m., the parties agreeing on the final name of the body as Zone of Joint Cooperation instead of the earlier proposed Zone of Cooperation and Co-Management.

Ferrer said  on their way to lunch break that “Kayang tapusin ang dalawang documents. (We can finish the two documents). Not today but within this session.”

This week’s round of talks started Wednesday and is scheduled to end Sunday.

Iqbal issued a similar statement. “Kayang tapusin (We can finish), he said.

Same page?

But government and the MILF peace panel have yet to be on the same page on the issue of the text of the CAB.

For Ferrer, the text of the CAB is “parang introduction.”  For Deles, it’s “parang cover lang.”

For Iqbal, the text of the CAB is more than just an introduction or a cover page. He told MindaNews Friday morning that there are some issues that they want clearly spelled out in the CAB. He declined to elaborate as their draft text of the CAB had yet to be handed over to the GPH panel.
Ferrer told MindaNews they gave their draft CAB “several months ago.” The MILF as of 1 p.m. Friday, had yet to hand over their draft CAB to the GPH, through the Malaysian facilitator.  Tengku said as of 1:30 p.m. that he had yet to receive the draft text.

“We’re open”

Ferrer said they were “open to receive proposals from their end as to what else goes into the text (of the CAB). We’ve already indicated some of the elements in a previous text.”

She said they “were just waiting. We’re open to look at whatever proposals they have.”

Iqbal on Friday morning said that after the signing of the Annex on Normalization and Addendum,”  there may be another round to finish the text of the CAB.

Ferrer said they will “discuss the process for that” and added that since all the annexes shall have been signed by then, “it may not be in the same form or full panel.”

Signing of CAB

Iqbal and Ferrer look at “February or March” for the signing of the CAB.

Signed on October 15, 2012, the FAB provides for four annexes that were supposed to have been completed by yearend 2012: the annexes on Revenue-Generation and Wealth-Sharing, Power-Sharing, Normalization, and Transitional Arrangements and Modalities.

The annex on Transitional Arrangements was signed in February; Wealth-sharing in July,

Power-sharing in December, and Normalization and the Addendum, hopefully this weekend.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro will be signed in the Philippines but the panels have yet to decide on the date and venue of the signing. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)

URL: http://www.mindanews.com/peace-process/2014/01/24/gph-milf-sign-last-annex-this-weekend/


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  • bagi bagi

    “Allahu Akbar”

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

    • Friend of Mindanao

      cut your allahu Akbar BS. the problem with all muslims is the violence killing and hate commanded in the Koran. if you stop obeying the Koran there would already be peace.

  • watu se

    It’s not actually the last push for the baby from the womb, it will only open a new wave of armed insurrections in Mindanao because it does not really solve the fundamental problems of the Moro people….So let’s wait and see..

  • watu se

    It’s not actually the last push for the baby from the womb, it will only open a new wave of armed insurrections in Mindanao because it does not really solve the fundamental problems of the Moro people….So let’s wait and see..

  • watu se

    It’s not actually the last push for the baby from the womb, it will only open a new wave of armed insurrections in Mindanao because it does not really solve the fundamental problems of the Moro people….So let’s wait and see..