Gov't peace panel: Talks with MILF are on track

Posted at 01/01/2013 3:06 PM | Updated as of 01/02/2013 9:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government peace panel's chief negotiator on Tuesday vowed to finish this year the annexes set to complement the recently signed framework peace agreement with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"We in the Government Negotiating Panel for Talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front enter 2013 with the conviction to finish what we have begun together with the MILF," Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chairperson of the government peace panel, said in a statement.

The government signed a framework agreement with the MILF in October last year.

"It took some two years to achieve the set of consensus that now make up the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB). The difficult issues were set aside for the annexes. Only in December did we begin work on a fourth annex," Coronel-Ferrer said.

"Still, the GPH (government of the Philippines) and the MILF are way past the mid-way mark after meeting only twice since the signing of the FAB on 15 October 2012. There has been much progress both in the substance and in the 'languaging' of the texts," she continued.

Coronel-Ferrer shared some of the power-sharing issued have already been completed, leaving only a few points yet to be tackled.

Moreover, wealth-sharing issues are also set to be threshed out once the panels meet anew this year.

"There are many more consensus points in the current draft annexes. These will be openly discussed in due time," Coronel-Ferrer said.

She stressed "both parties are open to consider options on the remaining eight or so issues, across the annexes, including the 'technical impasse' pertaining to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority."

Coronel-Ferrer said finishing the remaining annexes should not take than more than two months.