The government’s chief negotiator in the talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Friday said she was “misquoted” in the article written by The Manila Times columnist, Rigoberto Tiglao.
Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said Tiglao misunderstood the content of her statement last Tuesday.
“Well, it’s obvious that the statement was misquoted because what I said was, 2005 when the peace agreement was signed by the Republic of Indonesia and Free Aceh Movement, this is only next one that followed,” Ferrer told reporters.
She said she never indicated in her statement that the Aceh agreement is “similar” to the “Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.”
“I did not say it is similar. Although it’s also true that there are very similar elements which are part of the common components of this kind of conflict settlement which is the Aceh case, not that much of Aceh case but the geographic, not being part of the same country but being able to constitute autonomy within a region. So that should be very clear,” Ferrer said.
In his column, Tiglao said that “Aquino has taken as his template the Aceh agreement, when the political structure and history of both Aceh and Indonesia are totally different from ours.”
“In sharp contrast, the agreement with the MILF requires not just a law, which is also necessary, but amending our Constitution. This is because the pact’s crucial provisions violate the Constitution,” he said.
Among these agreements that do not comply with the Constitution are (1) for the MILF to have its own police force, (2) for the “Bangsamoro” (which in Bahasa means “Moro nation”) to have a parliamentary form of government, and (3) for that essentially Islamic to get 75 percent of the revenue state s from national taxes and from those generated through natural-resources extraction.
Ferrer said the peace agreement on Bangsamoro did not violate any constitutional provision.
“We are very considerate of the Constitution,” Ferrer said. “That is why any agreement we can agree upon will be subjected to democratic process and must pass the Philippine Congress.”
She cited as example the ministerial form of the government in Mindanao.
According to her, the law itself “shall provide for the structure of the government in the autonomous region.”
She said “it should be the same structure of the government that we find in other local government or the national government.”