GPH-MILF: No one can derail peace process now

Posted at 08/22/2013 7:07 PM

MANILA - Nothing and no one can stop the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) from achieving peace, negotiators from both sides said.

"In this round, we will prove that we have not been waylaid by these groups' destructive, desperate ways," government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said in her statement during the opening of the 39th GPH-MILF formal exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur.

Coronel-Ferrer is referring to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), who are being blamed for the Cagayan de Oro and North Cotabato bombings.

"But through their grievous deeds, these entrepreneurs of violence and mayhem have only succeeded in isolating themselves from the rest of the people," she added.

"Bombings, sniping, and various forms of indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations and objects such as bridges have no place in the moral order that we are instituting in our country and our communities."

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said there is a need to finish the process soon to prevent delays that will allow "various spoilers and enemies of peace" the chance "to spread their venom and to jump on our failures to stop dead the peace process on track."

"In order to nip in the bud their bad intention and agenda, I believe the answer is for us to finish the remaining issues and sign the comprehensive peace agreement," he said. "Once the agreement is sealed, it would be very difficult for them to destroy it."

Both panels have already signed two out of the four annexes to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).

These are the Annex on Transitional Arrangements on Modalities signed in February, and the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing.

Soon to be completed and signed are the Annexes on Power Sharing and Normalization.

These four annexes, together with the FAB, will comprise the comprehensive agreement which the parties aim to sign within the year.

"Let's show that we are ready to put to sleep the infamous devil in the details and awaken the angel of creativity and compromise," Coronel-Ferrer said.