NorthCot to conduct consultations on GPH-MILF peace process

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 16 January) – The provincial government of North Cotabato will hold massive consultations regarding the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the area, Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza said.

She said the consultations will be conducted in partnership with the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC), a grassroots network of Moro, Christian and Lumad leaders in Mindanao.

Mendoza bared the plan on Wednesday during a consultation for the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at the Southern Christian College here.

She said the consultations will serve as venue “to spread correct information to avoid what had happened in 2008,” when war broke out in some parts of the island, including North Cotabato, due to the botched signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), which the Supreme Court later ruled unconstitutional.

“It is our dream and that of our forefathers to have lasting peace in our midst…. In line with that, we will conduct consultations with the MPC in every district of the province,” Mendoza said.

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) has started drafting the BBL as the GPH and MILF move closer to forging a final peace agreement.

Mendoza said the consultations would help the provincial government come up with a stance it would submit to the BTC for consideration in the drafting of the Bangsamoro charter.

Lawyer Mary Ann Arnado, MPC secretary general, lauded the provincial government for being supportive in the quest for just and lasting peace in Mindanao.

She said the consultations, aside from gathering proposals for possible inclusion in the BBL, seek to inform the general public on the gains of the GPH-MILF peace talks.

Last October, the BTC signed a memorandum of agreement with the Mindanao Civil Society Organizations Peace Platform (MCSOPP), which is composed of 120 groups and networks, for the conduct of public consultation involving the drafting of the BBL.

The Civil Peace Service, one of the groups under the MCSOPP, organized the BBL consultation here on Wednesday.

Arnado explained that the BBL will generally be based on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and its four annexes on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, Revenue Sharing and Wealth Generation, Power Sharing and Normalization.

The FAB, signed on October 15, 2012 in Malacañang by the government and the MILF, envisions the creation of a Bangsamoro government that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in 2016.

Except the normalization annex, the GPH and MILF peace panels signed the three other annexes in separate occasions last year in Malaysia, the third party facilitator.

Both parties expect to sign the normalization annex and the addendum on Bangsamoro waters this month.

URL: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2014/01/16/northcot-to-conduct-consultations-on-gph-milf-peace-process/

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