Manila, MILF end KL meeting on a ‘positive note’

Bangsamoro_PHILIPPINES_REBEL_PEACE_AGREEMENTBong S Sarmiento
KORONADAL CITY

THE peace panels of the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front ended Friday their four-day special meeting on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) “on a positive note.”

In a joint press statement, the government and MILF peace panels, chaired respectively by Prof Miriam Coronel Ferrer and Mohagher Iqbal, said they discussed the contents of the draft BBL as submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and reviewed by the legal team of the Office of the President.

“They achieved modest progress and identified consensus language in the light of signed agreements. They resolved to continue working together to come up with a mutually acceptable draft Bangsamoro Basic Law,” the statement said.

“The meeting provided the panels the opportunity to clarify misperceptions and affirm the intent and sincerity of the parties to abide by the signed agreements,” it added.

The joint statement said the parties agreed to continue discussions on specific concerns in Manila within the next few days.

They recognise the importance of these discussions in order to ensure that the draft law would be submitted to Congress at the soonest possible time, it said.

The five-paragraph joint statement, however, did not specify the particular issues discussed by the panels.

The four-day meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was held after the BTC, the agency mandated to draft the BBL, issued a resolution elevating to the peace panels for clarification and resolution the outstanding issues on the draft BBL.

Members of the BTC, as well as the International Contact Group, were present to observe the discussions.

The meeting was hosted and facilitated by His Excellency Tengku Dato’ Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, the Malaysian facilitator for the peace negotiations.

The peace panels thank the public for their continued support towards the common objective of bringing a just resolution to the conflict in Mindanao, their joint statement said.

The BBL will legalise the creation of the Bangsamoro government, which the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) envisions to establish in place of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The CAB is the final peace deal signed last March by the government and the MILF after 17 years of negotiations.

Both Ferrer and Iqbal suggested earlier that the parties are eager in settling the issues on the BBL “so as not to put to waste the significant gains in the Mindanao peace process,” which was capped by the signing of the CAB.

The Brunei Times
Saturday, July 12, 2014

http://www.bt.com.bn/news-asia/2014/07/12/manila-milf-end-kl-meeting-%E2%80%98positive-note%E2%80%99

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