Independent body to oversee MILF decommissioning

Posted at 01/21/2014 2:52 PM
 

MANILA -- Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita "Ging" Deles admits the peace panels of the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are in for a tough four days of talks in Malaysia on the final annex in the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement.

The annex on normalization will deal with thorny issues such as the decommissioning of MILF arms and the demilitarization of forces.

According to Deles, there will be an independent body to oversee the decommissioning.

"The verification of what they list is in fact with this independent decommissioning body. And we're in fact having some practice on this in the Cordillera, for example with the CPLA (Cordillera People's Liberation Army). What they will not declare and what they will not register is therefore a loose firearm, and anything that happens with the use of those guns is very clearly law enforcement, not covered by the peace agreement," Deles told ANC's "Headstart" on Tuesday.

Another contentious issue is how to share the resources of the Bangsamoro waters.

Deles said reaching agreement on this matter is crucial to the development and protection of those resources.

She also said other stakeholders outside the Bangsamoro territories should also have a say on the matter.

"We're saying for example in the Moro Gulf, there are other provinces there that are on the coast, the coastline of Moro Gulf, that are not part of the Bangsamoro core territory. Shouldn't they also be part of helping to think this out?" she said.

The two sides will resume peace talks on January 22 in Malaysia, which is acting as facilitator.

There are four annexes in the framework agreement on the Bangsamoro.

In February last year, the first annex on transitional arrangements and modalities was signed. Five months later, the annex on wealth-sharing was completed. Before 2013 ended, both sides finished work on the annex on power-sharing.

Government hopes to sign a final peace deal for the creation of a Bangsamoro entity this month. -- With ANC