• Palace hopeful on talks with MILF

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    Malacañang is hopeful that the prickly issues that have stalled negotiations between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government peace panel will be settled when both panels resume talks in July.

    In an interview aired over state-run Radyo ng Bayang, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said the resumption of talks is expected to yield refined details in several annexes of the peace agreement, which include wealth-sharing, normalization and power-sharing.

    Government’s chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer earlier announced that she had submitted the government’s full proposals on the wealth-sharing issue to the MILF and that formal talks would resume next month.

    The government proposed changes to the draft annex on wealth-sharing, especially with regard to taxation, fund transfer mechanisms, and revenue split. Jurisdiction over transportation and communication is one of the remaining issues yet to be tackled under power sharing.

    “We are fully committed in the peace process,” Valte said, noting that the government wanted to make sure that all details in the proposals are ironed out.

    “We want these annexes and the agreement to pass legal muster kaya talagang that was thoroughly evaluated and studied,” she added. “And we hope that there will be a good resolution to the talks that are scheduled in July.”

    Both panels have yet to come up with a draft on normalization annex while the annex on transitional arrangements and modalities was already signed in February.

    Government peace panel member Senen Bacani had said that a final peace agreement with the rebel group could be signed “in a month or two.”

    Bacani, however, admitted that the remaining issues on the annexes are the most difficult.

    “What is important is that we continue to be committed to settle these issues, and once and for all complete the comprehensive agreement so that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission can also start drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law,” he said.

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