Govt, MILF end KL talks but Bangsa law hangs

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The “special meeting” between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) ended Friday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on a “positive note” but with no finality on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

In a joint statement, the government and the MILF panels said both panels achieved “modest progress” in resolving issues in the proposed Bangsamoro law, but talks are to continue in Manila in the following days.

The two sides said they identified “consensus language” in the proposed law in accordance with the comprehensive peace pact they signed last March.

“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. They agreed to continue discussions on specific concerns in Manila within the next few days,” the panels said.


Both parties said they “recognize the importance of these discussions in order to ensure that the draft law would be submitted to Congress at the soonest possible time.”

The meeting in Kuala Lumpur was held after the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) called on the government and MILF to clarify and resolve issues concerning the revisions made by the Office of the President in the proposed law.

The panels assured that “they resolved to continue working together to come up with a mutually acceptable draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.”

The meeting was held after the BTC, the agency mandated to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law, issued a resolution elevating to the Panels for clarification and resolution the outstanding issues on the draft Basic Law.

Members of the BTC, as well as the International Contact Group, observed the discussions.

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

The peace panels thanked the public for their “continued support towards the common objective of bringing a just resolution to the conflict in Mindanao.”

The Bangsamoro Basic Law is the organic law for the envisioned Bangsamoro government that will replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao by 2016.

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