Govt, MILF resume peace talks despite Zambo incident

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Despite the ongoing row in Zamboanga City involving members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) pushed through with its scheduled peace negotiations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Both peace panels on Tuesday resumed their negotiations in a bid to arrive at a deal on the two remaining annexes on power sharing and normalization of the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro.

“The 40th round of GPH-MILF formal exploratory talks started today at 10 a.m,” the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) confirmed.

However, the OPPAP has yet to issue a statement on the resumption of talks as of posting.


MILF peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal, meanwhile, expressed hope that this meeting would be the final one.

“There is hope of signing but not sure,” Iqbal said, referring to the signing of the last two remaining annexes of the FAB – power sharing and normalization.

Together with revenue generation and wealth sharing that was signed last July, the other FAB annex is on transitional arrangements and modalities that was signed last February

These four annexes, together with the FAB, will constitute the Comprehensive Agreement which the parties aim to sign within the year.

Both peace panels, he said, will hold talks for at least 10 days.

“I am in Kuala Lumpur now. Talks will last until September 19,” Iqbal added.

In their last round of formal exploratory talks, both parties said that they have achieved “substantial progress in the discussions towards finalizing the Annexes on Power Sharing and Normalization to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.”

The parties, in a joint statement, said they worked toward the resolution of some of the most crucial issues.

“Despite the sensitivity of these issues, the Parties remain committed to the problem-solving approach in order to reach consensus,” they said.

“In the spirit of partnership and mutual understanding, they are confident that an agreement will be reached soon,” both panels added. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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