MILF exec wants 75-25 wealth sharing in Bangsamoro

Posted at 10/09/2012 5:26 PM | Updated as of 10/09/2012 5:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) official on Tuesday disclosed that they want a 75% share in the revenues that will be generated from the economic activities of the proposed Bangsamoro.

"Ang pinag-uusapan sa wealth sharing ay mayroong 25% ang national government na manggagaling dito sa amin…Palagay ko plantsado na ito, 75-25 [percent] in favor of the Bangsamoro," MILF Vice Chairman for Political Affairs Ghadzali Jaafar told radio dzMM.

Jaafar issued this statement even as a wealth sharing agreement between the national government and the Bangsamoro region has yet to be arrived at. While the wealth sharing clause is already contained in the framework agreement arrived at on Sunday, it did not indicate the formula for sharing.

The framework agreement, set to be signed on October 15 in Malacanang, reads: "The details of revenue and wealth sharing arrangements between the Central Government and the Bangsamoro Government shall be agreed upon by the Parties. The Annex on Wealth Sharing shall form part of this Agreement."

However, in a separate interview with ABS-CBNnews.com, Jaafar said the negotiations on the formula are still ongoing.

Nevertheless, Jaafar said the MILF leadership is "hoping" for a 75-25 wealth sharing in favor of the Bangsamoro people.

Asked what would be the MILF's stand in the event the national government asks for a larger share than 25%, Jaafar only said, "no comment ako diyan."

Wealth-sharing was one of the contentious issues in the mothballed agreement between the government and the MILF in 2008, where the proposed sub-state was named the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity.

Bangsamoro is inclusive

Jaafar also stressed today that the agreement between the government and the MILF is not exclusive to the group, which has been rebelling against the government for decades.

"Ang posisyon namin sa kasalukuyang pag-uusap, ano mang agreement ay inclusive sa lahat ng Bangsamoro. Lahat dapat makasabay, incidental lamang na kami ang nasa timon ng barko pero hindi amin ito," he said.

The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement, a group led by Ameril Umbra Kato which broke away from the MILF, earlier said it is ready to go back to using arms if the result of negotiations become unfavorable to the Bangsamoro people.

As for the Moro National Liberation Front, from which the MILF broke away, Jaafar said: "Wala namang problem. As a matter of fact marami sa kanila ay nasa gobyerno."

The MNLF was also quoted earlier as saying that the MILF does not represent the Bangsamoro people.

In a press conference also on Monday, government panel chief Marvic Leonen said the government will no longer negotiate with other splinter groups. “As far as this government is concerned, this ends here.”

Jaafar hopes that the creation of the Bangsamoro will be finalized before President Benigno Aquino III's term ends.

"Let us hope and pray. You can just imagine kapag muling sumiklab ang digmaan sa lugar ng Bangsamoro," he said.