The Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo on Sunday said the peace pact between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) prejudiced the interest of the stakeholders in the Sulu Archipelago.
Abraham Idrijani, secretary-general and spokesman of the Sultanate of Sulu, said that while they fully support peace initiatives, these should not in any way violate people’s rights.
“The Sultanate of Sulu will be the first to support any group wanting to establish the peace process. However, it has to be in accord with historical truths and the rights of people ancestrally governing the territories now under the GRP-MILF framework agreement,” Idrijani told The Manila Times in a text message.
He said the wealth sharing provision in the agreement covering the Moro Gulf “prejudiced the rights of the Sulu Sultanate as the MILF changed its historic name Sulu Sea.”
Idrijani said the unilateral inclusion of the Sulu Sea in the agreement without any
consultation only proves that they prejudice the interest of the Sultanate of Sulu and its ancestral constituents.
He said non-armed groups are among the stakeholders gearing up for a peaceful political position on the issue.
The position, he added, will be manifested by the Bangsa Suluk People of the Sulu Archipelago, which is different from the MILF.
The government and the MILF signed the last annex of the Bangsamoro framework, sealing the pact that seeks to end the MILF’s secessionist fight in Mindanao.
The government panel also signed the addendum on the Bangsamoro Waters in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which has been brokering the peace negotiations.
Also signed were the annexes on transitional arrangements and modalities, revenue generation and wealth sharing, and power sharing.
Once the documents are completed, a separate political entity called the Bangsamoro Political Entity will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The European Union congratulated the negotiating panels for signing the last annex on normalization.
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, described the signing as a “historic moment.”
She said the signing of the Normalization annex marks the end of a long and difficult process of peace negotiations.
“It is a truly historic moment, demonstrating the parties’ commitment to achieving long-lasting peace on the Philippines’ island of Mindanao through a unique and holistic concept of normalization that encompasses the gradual decommissioning of arms, overall demilitarization, and its economic and social development,” Ashton added.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO