Marathon talks on Bangsamoro peace deal next month



COTABATO CITY–- Government and Moro peace negotiators have agreed to hold 10-day marathon talks next month to speed up the completion of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

“The parties are really convinced to complete the discussion of the remaining two annexes (power-sharing and normalization) to pave way for the signing of the CPA,” Maulana Alonto, a senior member of the peace panels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The two sides are yet to complete the power sharing annexes during the 39th exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that ended Sunday.

In a joint statement, the Philippine and MILF panels said the four-day meeting had achieved “substantial progress in the discussions towards finalizing the Annexes on Power-sharing and Normalization to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).”

The final deal (CPA) will be composed of the FAB and four annexes on transitional arrangements and modalities, power-sharing, wealth-sharing and normalization.

On the issue of power sharing, the MILF panel pushed for what it called asymmetrical relations between the central government and the Bangsamoro government.

Alonto said the “asymmetrical relationship” simply means that the Bangsamoro can stand on its own.

He explained that it was not about independence or separation from central government but about genuine autonomy.

Alonto added that this would allow the Bangsamoro to have its own government a lot different from the current autonomous region in Mindanao which Manila has declared a “failed experiment.”

During the four-day meeting in Malaysia, both sides worked on some of the most crucial issues, the joint communiqué said Sunday.




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